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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 48 (4), 173-6

Potent Potentiating Diuretic Effects of Prednisone in Congestive Heart Failure

Randomized Controlled Trial

Potent Potentiating Diuretic Effects of Prednisone in Congestive Heart Failure

Chao Liu et al. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol.


Animal studies showed glucocorticoids could specifically dilate renal vasculature, regulate synthesis and release of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), upregulate ANP receptors on vascular endothelial cells, and thus have potent potentiating diuresis and natriuresis effects in animal studies; however, their diuretic efficacy in humans is yet to be known. Therefore, we designed this randomized, double- blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study to determine the diuretic efficacy of prednisone, a glucocorticoid, in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF).

Methods: Twenty clinically stable patients with CHF without overt fluid retention were randomized to a prednisone group or placebo group. Prednisone (1 mg/kg/day with a maximum dose of 60 mg/day) was added to standard care for 7 days, leaving other medications unchanged. Variables included urine volume and electrolytes, serum electrolytes, and change from baseline in serum creatinine.

Results: Adding prednisone resulted in striking diuresis and natriuresis with time. As compared with the placebo group, the maximum of mean daily urine volume was 810.5 mL larger than those in the placebo group (95% confidence intervals [CI] 276.25 to 1344.86, P < 0.05). The maximum mean daily sodium excretion was 123.8 mmol higher than those patients given placebo (95% CI 11.4 to 236.2, P < 0.05). The placebo-corrected effect on change from baseline in serum creatinine was -19.5 mumol/L (95% CI -7.4 to -31.6, P < 0.01), favoring prednisone.

Conclusions: This pilot study showed that prednisone had potent potentiating diuretic effects in patients with heart failure and might improve renal function in the same time. Further prospective randomized clinical studies are warranted to determine the preferable dose and its efficacy in decompensated congestive heart failure.

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