Diuretic response in patients with acute decompensated heart failure: characteristics and clinical outcome—an analysis from RELAX-AHF

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AimsWe studied the characteristics and clinical outcome related to diuretic response and the effects of serelaxin in patients hospitalized for acute heart failure (AHF).Methods and resultsRELAX-AHF was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, enrolling 1161 patients admitted to hospital for AHF who were randomized to 48 h i.v infusions of placebo or serelaxin (30 μg/kg per day) within 16 h from presentation. Diuretic response was defined as Δ weight kg/[(total i.v. dose)/40 mg] + [(total oral dose)/80 mg)] furosemide (or equivalent loop diuretic dose) up to day 5. Median diuretic response was −0.42 (−1.00, −0.14) kg/40 mg. A poor diuretic response was independently associated with Western-like region (Western Europe, North America, Israel, and Poland), lower diastolic blood pressure, the absence of oedema, higher blood urea nitrogen, and lower levels of aspartate aminotransferase and potassium (all P < 0.01). Randomization to serelaxin was associated with lower doses of i.v. loop diuretics and slightly less weight loss, resulting in a neutral effect on diuretic response. Worse diuretic response was independently associated both with less relief of dyspnoea, measured with a visual analogue scale (VAS) at day 5 (primary endpoint; P = 0.0002), and with a higher risk of cardiovascular death or rehospitalization for heart failure or renal failure through day 60 (secondary endpoint, P < 0.0001), but not with increased 180-day cardiovascular mortality (P = 0.507).ConclusionsIn patients hospitalized for AHF, a poor diuretic response was associated with a poor in-hospital and early post-discharge clinical outcome. Serelaxin had a neutral effect on diuretic response.Trial registration: NCT00520806

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