DEC 05, 2015 1:17 PM PST

IV Diuretics for Heart Failure Patients Receive a Thumb's Up

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
The results of a new study published online this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure declared intravenous (IV) diuretics “safe and effective for outpatient volume management in heart failure” after successful experiments conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. IV diuretics therapy involves inhibiting the reabsorptive pump in order to decrease volume load, improve the heart’s ability to pump blood, and reduce heart failure symptoms (AJM).

In a 2006 review of IV diuretics published in the American Journal of Medicine, scientists from the University of Hull were not completely convinced that the therapy was reliably safe. Their studies led them to believe the technology was not dependable since certain side effects occurred including renal dysfunction and electrolyte abnormalities. “There remains a compelling need for well-designed randomized, controlled clinical trials to establish treatment regimens [surrounding IV diuretics],” explained the scientists from the United Kingdom university.

In their recent study though, scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital saw more promising and encouraging results. They looked at 60 patients with chronic heart failure and worsening congestion, and they treated them with a bolus (single dose of a drug or other medicinal preparation given all at once) and 3-hour infusion of IV furosemide, a water pill that prevents the body from absorbing too much salt, allowing the salt to instead be passed in your urine at an outpatient clinic (drugs.com).
“A standardized conversion algorithm was used to derive diuretic dosing from the maintenance of oral loop diuretic dose,” stated a HealthDay press release.

Less than 10 percent of patients experienced renal failure or hypokalemia (deficiency of potassium in the bloodstream) progression, and hospitalization was only 31.7 percent after 30 days, down from the expected 52.8 percent. No patients died.

Watch the following video to learn more about the molecular basis of IV diuretics.

Source: Medical Xpress
About the Author
I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
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