Heart failure is a severe pathology, which has displayed a dramatic increase in the occurrence of patients with chronic heart disease in developed countries, as a result of increases in the population's average age and in survival time. This pathology is associated with severe malnutrition, which worsens the prognosis. Although the cachexia associated with chronic heart failure is a well-known complication, there is no reference animal model of malnutrition related to heart failure. This study was designed to evaluate the nutritional status of rats in a model of loss of cardiac function obtained by ascending aortic banding. Cardiac overload led to the development of cardiac hypertrophy, which decompensates to heart failure, with increased brain natriuretic peptide levels. The rats displayed hepatic dysfunction and an associated renal hypotrophy and renal failure, evidenced by the alteration in renal function markers such as citrullinemia, creatininemia, and uremia. Malnutrition has been evidenced by the alteration of protein and amino acid metabolism. A muscular atrophy with decreased protein content and increased amino acid concentrations in both plasma and muscle was observed. These rats with heart failure displayed a multiorgan failure and malnutrition, which reflected the clinical situation of human chronic heart failure.
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