Effect of hyperkalemia and RAASi nonadherence on patients affected by heart failure or chronic kidney disease


The presence of hyperkalemia (HK) in patients with heart failure (HF)or chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases the risk of death. The aims of the present study have been: i) to evaluate if the risk of cardiovascular (CV) events and mortality increases in two cohorts of patients with heart failure (HF) or chronic kidney disease (CKD) affected by hyperkalemia (HK) and treated with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi). We have also evaluated the risk of dialysis among CKD patients; ii) to provide an estimate of the increased risk of CV events and mortality caused among HK patients by a non-optimal adherence to RAASi therapy in both HF and CKD cohorts.

This is a retrospective study, based on the administrative databases of five Italian Local Health Units. All patients ≥18-year-old discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of HF (ICD-9-CM 428) or CKD (ICD-9-CM585) between January 2010 and December 2017 were enrolled. We defined as index date (ID) the date of first diagnosis during the enrolment period. Only patients that were prescribed RAASi therapy during the first three months after the ID were considered. Serum potassium level was tested in the three months before and after ID. The patients were considered as having HK if they presented a serum potassium level ≥5.5 mmol/l. Results show that patients with HK treated with RAASi were respectively 46% (HF) and 31% (CKD) more at risk of CV events and 88% (HF) and 72% (CKD) more at risk of dying. Moreover, the risk of dialysis in CKD patients increased by 458%. After the onset of HK, non-optimal adherence to RAASi in patients with HK was found to increase notably the risk of CV events (65% HF, 34% CKD) and mortality (127% HF, 122% CKD) in both cohorts.


Keywords: hyperkalemia, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, drugs for hyperkalemia, real-world study

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Neprilysin inhibition and chronic kidney disease


Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a higher incidence of cardiovascular (acute and chronic) events, which in turn have an increased risk of progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD)

Inhibition of neprilysin, in addition to offering a new therapeutic target in patients with heart failure, could represent a potential improvement strategy in cardiovascular and renal outcome of patients with CKD.

Inhibition of neprilysin by inhibiting the breakdown of natriuretic peptides, increases their bioavailability resulting in an increase in diuresis and sodium excretion and, in addition to exerting an inhibition of the renin – angiotensin – aldosterone (RAAS) system.

Inhibition of RAAS, in turn, generates a series of counter-regulations that can balance the adverse effects present in CKD and heart failure (HF).

The idea of ​​blocking neprilysin is not very recent, but the first drugs used as inhibitors had an inadmissible incidence of angioedema.

Among the latest generation molecules that can perform a specific inhibitory action on the neprilysin receptor and, at the same time, on the angiotensin II receptor thanks to the association with valsartan there is the LCZ696 (sacubitril / valsartan). This drug has shown promising benefits both in the treatment arterial hypertension and heart failure. It is hoped that equally positive effects may occur in CKD patients, particularly those with macroproteinuria.

Key words: neprilysin, natriuretic peptides, sacubitril/valsartan, hypertension, heart failure, CKD

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.