Purpose of review Congestive heart failure
(CHF) and chronic kidney disease
(CKD) often coexist. However, and despite their established benefits, the use of mineralcorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs) in patients with both comorbidities is inconsistent. This review will focus on the role of aldosterone in CHF, as well as timing, selection, and management of MRAs in CHF patients with CKD.
Aldosterone in CHF patients contributes to worsening sodium retention, hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, cardiac fibrosis, and CKD progression. MRAs are beneficial in CHF patients with CKD despite the adverse events of hyperkalemia and acute kidney injury. MRAs were previously studied in patients with CKD stage III but were recently found to be safe in end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients. New nonsteroidal MRAs are more selective for the mineralocorticoid receptor and have a better side effect profile. The use of potassium lowering agents, such as patriomer, helps maintain normokalemia in patients with CKD who are treated with MRAs.
It is recommended to use MRAs in CHF patients with normal potassium levels and a glomerular filtration rate of more than 30 ml/min. Their use is also safe in ESKD patients. In nondialysis advanced CKD patients, they may need to be combined to medications such as patiromer
. New nonsteroidal MRAs are currently being studied.