In chronic heart failure with marked fluid retention, the i.v. high doses of loop diuretic are a predictor of aggravated renal dysfunction, especially in the set of heart failure with normal or only mildly impaired left ventricular systolic function

R De Vecchis, A Ciccarelli, C Ariano, C Cioppa, A Giasi, A Pucciarelli, S Cantatrione
Minerva Cardioangiologica 2011, 59 (6): 543-54

AIM: In the presence of resistance to oral diuretics in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients with extreme hydrosaline retention, among the proposed therapeutic options the administration of high doses of loop diuretics - either intravenous (i.v.) boluses or i.v. continuous infusion - should first of all be considered. Nevertheless, the use of this therapy may lead to the risk of further aggravation of frequently coexisting renal dysfunction, especially when loop diuretics such as furosemide (FUR), torasemide etc. are administered at excessive doses leading to hypotension, hypoperfusion and/or relative dehydration in patients with decompensated CHF who could have benefit from intensive unloading therapy. The aim of this study was to identify the clinical and hematochemical markers which are able to predict a possible decline or rapid deterioration of renal function implying a rise in serum creatinine (Cr) >25% of its basal value, i.e. the so-called aggravated renal dysfunction (ARD), typically occurring during intensive unloading therapy with i.v. FUR or other loop diuretics, administered to CHF pts with extreme fluid retention.

METHODS: The protocol of our case-control observational study established to enroll every CHF patient who was demonstrated to develop a rise in Cr suggestive of ARD at the end of i.v. diuretic therapy (VI-VIII day). For each case enrolled, 3 patients at least were selected as controls, matched for age, sex and time elapsed from the beginning of the signs and symptoms of CHF. For the prediction of the dependent variable, represented by ARD diuretic infusion-related, the following independent variables were considered: creatinine clearance (Cr clear) <60 mL/min, Cr clear expressed as a continuous variable (Cr clear continuous), daily dose of i.v. furosemide ≥ 125 mg, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), CHF with normal (≥ 50%) LVEF (HFNEF), urinary sodium concentration (U Na+) ≥ 40 mEq/L, U Na+expressed as a continuous variable (U Na+ continuous), sodium fractional excretion (FE Na+) >2%, urine/plasma concentration ratios for creatinine (U/P cr) <10, for urea (U/P urea) <5 and for osmolality (U/P osmolal) <1.1, mean duration of the symptoms of CHF, history of pre-existing parenchymal renal disease . The values of U Na+, FE Na+, U/P Cr, U/P urea and U/P osmolal were measured after discontinuance of diuretic oral therapy for four days, before the onset of intensive i.v. diuretic administration, so as to identify the patients with pathological values of tubular renal function indexes, known to be not interpretable in the presence of diuretics, suggestive of possible preexisting anatomic renal damage (acute tubular necrosis prior to onset of iv diuretic therapy).

RESULTS: Nineteen 19 CHF patients with ARD and 60 controls were enrolled. At univariable analysis, Cr clear <60 mL/min, Cr clear continuous, daily dose of iv furosemide ≥ 125 mg, LVEF, HFNEF, FE Na+>2%, Na+≥ 40 mEq/L and U Na+ continuous were shown to be associated with ARD. At multivariate analysis, the role of prognostic indicator of ARD was maintained by daily dose only of iv FUR ≥125 mg (OR: 7.2088 95% CI: 1.3096-39.6802 P=0.0232). By using the 2x2 contingency tables, a qualitative interaction was identified by crossing ARD ‑ outcome variable - against dose of iv FUR ≥ 125 mg/day - exposure variable - and by subsequently stratifying by the HFNEF. Actually, a significant association with ARD was not present in any CHF patient with dilated left ventricle treated with high dosage of iv FUR, whereas a highly significant association with ARD was observed in HFNEF patients (OR: 72 95% CI: 6.601-785.2694 P=0.00001) who had experienced the same high iv fur dose.

CONCLUSION: In CHF patients with widespread edema refractory to oral diuretic, ARD can be propitiated by high dosages of i.v. FUR, when not associated with other treatments to preserve the effective circulating volume and renal flow. The HFNEF patients appear to be more prone to ARD related to i.v. high dosages of FUR, perhaps because their hemodynamics is more seriously harmed by the drop, FUR-related, in venous return and cardiac preload, as compared to CHF patients with reduced (45-30%) LVEF.

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