Background Increased renal sympathetic nerve activity can result in diuretic resistance in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. We investigated the effect of regional renal nerve blockade on the patients with chronic refractory heart failure and diuretic resistance.
Methods Eighteen patients with chronic refractory heart failure were enrolled (mean age (64±11) years). The patients were randomly divided into two groups (renal nerve blockade group and standard therapy group, n=9 each). Renal nerve blockade was performed by percutaneous injection of local anaesthetic under computed tomographic guidance. Heart rate, mean arterial blood pressure, plasma and urine electrolytes, neurohormones, factional excretion of sodium (FENa), 24-hour urine volume were monitored at baseline and the first 24 hours after therapy. Dyspnea and oedema were also evaluated. The major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) level and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were compared between the two groups during the 3-12 months follow-up period.
Results No complication was observed during the acute phase of renal nerve blockade. After renal nerve blockade, the 24-hour urine volume and FENa were significantly increased, while the level of plasma rennin, angiotensin II, aldosterone, BNP and atrial natriuretic peptide as well as dyspnea and oedema were significantly reduced in renal nerve blockade group compared with baseline and standard therapy group. During three to 12 months of follow-up, the rate of MACE and plasma BNP level were significantly lower, while LVEF was significantly higher in renal nerve blockade group than those in standard therapy group.
Conclusion Regional renal nerve blockade may be a safe and effective treatment for patients with chronic refractory heart failure.