RECONNEXT: Renal connection to microvascular disease and HFpEF, the next phase.
RECONNEXT stands for Renal connection to microvascular disease and HFpEF: the next phase. RECONNEXT is a multicenter consortium that aims to advance medical research of heart failure – particularly heart failure with preserved ejection fraction – in relation to impaired kidney function.
RECONNEXT builds on the success of RECONNECT that was established in 2015 (see figure 1, below). The RECONNEXT consortium consists of nephrologists, cardiologists, general practitioners and scientists from five academic centers in the Netherlands (UMC Utrecht, Erasmus MC, UMC Groningen, Amsterdam UMC, LUMC/Leiden Universiteit), internationally leading in the field of heart failure, vascular biology and chronic kidney disease.
Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF)
Heart failure is a major health care problem associated with high morbidity and mortality. Traditionally, most attention has been paid to heart failure with reduced ejection fraction with eccentric remodeling, i.e. dilation, of the left ventricle as the main feature. However, nearly one half of the patients with heart failure show a decline in function during the diastole caused by the stiffening of the heart chamber: This is known as diastolic heart failure or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).
The renal connection
Research findings from our consortium show that impaired kidney function is a strong risk factor for HFpEF. Patients with chronic kidney disease are more susceptible to develop HFpEF and more likely to die of HFpEF associated complications. The exact mechanisms by which even a modest decline in renal function worsens cardiovascular risk and aggravates onset and prognosis of HFpEF are not well understood. Insights from RECONNECT indicate a central role for systemic inflammation and the microvasculature.
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