Background: Chronic heart failure is associated with impaired renal function, which may worsen during therapy. The incidence, predictors, and consequences of aggravated renal dysfunction (ARD) in patients undergoing intensive therapy for advanced chronic heart failure are unknown.
Methods: We reviewed the experience of 48 consecutive patients hospitalized for treatment of advanced chronic heart failure who underwent intravenous diuretic therapy with a weight loss of >/=2 kg. Evaluation included baseline renal function and echocardiography in all patients and hemodynamic measurements in 38 (79%) patients.
Results: ARD, defined as >/=25% increase in serum creatinine concentration to >/=2 mg/dL, developed in 10 (21%) patients. Patients with ARD developing were older (aged 58 +/- 16 years vs 51 +/- 13 years; P =.006) and had lower baseline creatinine clearance (49 +/- 21 mL/min vs 74 +/- 26 mL/min; P =.01) but had the same serum creatinine at baseline. They were more likely to have atrial fibrillation (70% vs 29%, P =.02) but did not have lower filling pressures, cardiac output, or estimated renal perfusion pressure. Length of stay was longer if ARD developed (median 17 vs 9 days, P =.02). Mortality rate after discharge was increased in the patients with ARD (relative risk 5.3, P =.002).
Conclusions: In patients undergoing intensive treatment for heart failure, ARD is common and clinically significant. The relation among baseline factors, ARD, and worsened outcome may reflect complex cardiorenal interactions. Better understanding of the causes and prevention of ARD during heart failure therapy may in the future lead to better outcomes.