Entries in Acute Heart Failure (1)


Study: Continuous Infusion of Diuretics Unnecessary for Heart Failure Patients

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One million heart failure patients are hospitalized every year.  For this reason, researchers have sought to find answers to ongoing questions about treatment for patients with acute heart failure.  Now they say there are no real differences between diuretic therapy given one dose at a time or continuously through an IV, according to HealthDay News.

"Today doctors all over the U.S. are having to make a decision on how to give diuretics," said Dr. Michael Felker, lead author of a study appearing in the March 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.  "This gives insight as to the trade-off between efficacy and safety in each decision."

Continuous diuretics have been the standard for treatment of acute heart failure for the last four to five decades, leaving patients to depend on therapy that hasn't seen the rigorous pre-market evaluation that pharmaceuticals must go through presently.

Now Dr. Felker says scientists are finally looking into newer and better treatments for acute heart failure.

In the study, 308 patients with acute heart failure were divided into two groups. One group was given the intravenous diuretic every 12 hours; the other received acontinuous infusion.  Both groups were given high and low doses.  After analyzing the data, Dr. Felker reported a "strong suggestion that the high doses are actually better." 

Dr. Felker noted that this outcome is contrary to what many people think -- that high doses are dangerous.  He also concluded that continuous infused therapy was not necessarily better, saying that "the results were completely neutral" showing "no difference."

Dr. Stuart Katz, director of the Heart Failure Program at New York University Langone Medical Center, commented that the study proves that IV dosing is a reasonable alternative to continuous diuretic infusion, particularly because it is less expensive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio