Renal function and neurohormonal changes following intravenous infusions of nitroglycerin versus nesiritide in patients with acute decompensated heart failure

J Card Fail. 2011 Mar;17(3):181-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2010.10.005. Epub 2010 Dec 3.


Background: Rises in serum creatinine and efficacy have been reported as dose-related effects of nesiritide and nitroglycerin in acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). However, no study has evaluated the comparative safety, efficacy, and biomarkers of optimally dosed nesiritide versus nitroglycerin in ADHF.

Methods and results: Eighty-nine ADHF patients were prospectively randomized to receive either nesiritide (0.01 μg kg(-1) min(-1) ± bolus) or nitroglycerin (maximally tolerated doses by standard protocol). Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine were obtained during 48 hours of intravenous infusion. B-Type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal (NT) proBNP concentrations were measured during hospitalization. There were no significant differences in BUN, serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, or hospitalization and mortality. Although concentrations of BNP and NT-proBNP were significantly decreased over time, the comparative reductions between the 2 vasodilators were similar.

Conclusions: Nesiritide and nitroglycerin produce similar hemodynamic effects, do not worsen markers of renal function, and produce significant, yet similar, reductions in neurohormones over time. Both nitroglycerin at maximally titrated doses and nesiritide at standard doses are safe and effective in patients with ADHF who require vasodilator therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / administration & dosage*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / blood*
  • Nitroglycerin / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Nitroglycerin