Changes in brain natriuretic peptide levels and bioelectrical impedance measurements after treatment with high-dose furosemide and hypertonic saline solution versus high-dose furosemide alone in refractory congestive heart failure: a double-blind study

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Jun 21;45(12):1997-2003. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2005.01.059.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a new treatment for refractory congestive heart failure (CHF) on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) plasma levels and hydration station.

Background: The study was aimed at evaluating the effects of the combination of high-dose furosemide and small-volume hypertonic saline solution (HSS) in refractory CHF patients.

Methods: A total of 94 patients (34 women/60 men) with refractory CHF (age 55 to 80 years) were enrolled. They had to have an ejection fraction <35%, serum creatinine <2 mg/dl, blood urea nitrogen <60 mg/dl, a reduced urinary volume, and a low natriuresis (<500 ml/24 h and <60 mEq/24 h, respectively). Patients were divided (double-blind) into two groups: group 1 (18 women/30 men) received an intravenous furosemide (500 to 1,000 mg) plus HSS twice a day in 30 min. Group 2 (16 women/30 men) received an intravenous bolus of furosemide (500 to 1,000 mg/twice a day) alone, for four to six days. At entry, body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and laboratory parameters were checked during hospitalization; BNP levels were measured on admission, 6 and 30 days after discharge, while on admission and 6 days after, impedance plethysmography was performed. The HSS group received 120 mmol of Na intake versus 80 mmol in non-HSS group. Fluid intake of 1,000 was given to both groups.

Results: The groups were similar for clinical characteristics. A significant increase in daily diuresis and natriuresis was observed in HSS group, p < 0.05. The BNP values showed significant intragroup and intergroup differences, 6 and 30 days after treatment. The patients from the HSS group reached a better hydration state than the non-HSS group after six days. In addition, the HSS group showed a significant reduction in hospitalization time and readmission rate.

Conclusions: Our data show that the HSS group reached dry weight more rapidly, a significantly faster reduction in BNP levels, shorter hospitalization stay, and lower incidence in readmissions in the 30-day study period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diuretics / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Electric Impedance
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Furosemide / administration & dosage*
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / drug effects*
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / administration & dosage*
  • Time Factors


  • Diuretics
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Furosemide