Still time to register for Cardio Renal Connections Conference July 20-21

San Antonio-area health care providers: If you’ve not yet registered for the Cardio Renal Connections Conference set for July 20-21, you still have time to do so!

The conference is directed by UT Health San Antonio faculty Anand Prasad, M.D., associate professor of medicine (cardiology), and Shweta Bansal, M.D., associate professor of medicine (nephrology). Both are appointed in the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

Sean Elliott, a San Antonio Spurs player from 1989 to 2001 and recipient of a kidney transplant, provided a detailed interview on his experiences with kidney disease. An excerpt of a recorded video to start the conference is available at

The Cardio Renal Connections Conference will be held at La Cantera Resort & Spa. For more information and to register, go to

Relevance to the public

When the heart is not working well, as in congestive heart failure, blood flow to the kidneys is compromised. Likewise, if the kidneys are damaged, this leads to accelerated heart disease.

“If a patient has one organ affected, we have to be very vigilant for damage to both organs,” Dr. Bansal said. “We have to take care of factors including diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight or obese, which affect both organs either sequentially or simultaneously.”

“Our work in the cardio-renal space is starting to gain national attention,” Dr. Prasad said. “It is an area where we are leading the field. For example, people are living longer with congestive heart failure, which has implications for the kidneys.”

Dr. Prasad treats patients who have the most serious heart disease with percutaneous coronary interventions. These procedures include implantation of ventricular support devices to help patients who are in cardiac arrest. He performs interventional procedures at University Hospital.

When a cardiac angiogram test was performed in the past, dye used in the test was a risk factor for kidney damage, Dr. Bansal said. Physicians now have different devices that control the amount of dye, the rate at which it is given and different procedures to prevent kidney damage, she said. Advances such as this are discussed during the Cardio Renal Connections Conference.

New medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can prevent heart and kidney damage. For example, newer agents can control high potassium, which is a complication of some therapies. Also, anti-diabetic medications not only control blood sugars but directly help improve heart and kidney diseases.

“Retention of salt early on in patients who are overweight or obese and have diabetes is a central reason for development of high blood pressure,” Dr. Bansal said. “Therefore, watching salt consumption in the diet is very important to protect the kidneys, heart and other organs.”

High cholesterol and diabetes risk must also be monitored. “If we treat the cholesterol level early on, and manage diabetes, this can prevent both heart attacks and kidney disease development and progression,” Dr. Bansal said.

About UT Health San Antonio

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, now called UT Health San Antonio®, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities. With missions of teaching, research, healing and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced 35,850 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better® ,” visit


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