Diuretic response in patients with acute decompensated heart failure: characteristics and clinical outcome--an analysis from RELAX-AHF

Eur J Heart Fail. 2014 Nov;16(11):1230-40. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.170. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Aims: We studied the characteristics and clinical outcome related to diuretic response and the effects of serelaxin in patients hospitalized for acute heart failure (AHF).

Methods and results: RELAX-AHF was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, enrolling 1161 patients admitted to hospital for AHF who were randomized to 48 h i.v infusions of placebo or serelaxin (30 µg/kg per day) within 16 h from presentation. Diuretic response was defined as Δ weight kg/[(total i.v. dose)/40 mg] + [(total oral dose)/80 mg)] furosemide (or equivalent loop diuretic dose) up to day 5. Median diuretic response was -0.42 (-1.00, -0.14) kg/40 mg. A poor diuretic response was independently associated with Western-like region (Western Europe, North America, Israel, and Poland), lower diastolic blood pressure, the absence of oedema, higher blood urea nitrogen, and lower levels of aspartate aminotransferase and potassium (all P < 0.01). Randomization to serelaxin was associated with lower doses of i.v. loop diuretics and slightly less weight loss, resulting in a neutral effect on diuretic response. Worse diuretic response was independently associated both with less relief of dyspnoea, measured with a visual analogue scale (VAS) at day 5 (primary endpoint; P = 0.0002), and with a higher risk of cardiovascular death or rehospitalization for heart failure or renal failure through day 60 (secondary endpoint, P < 0.0001), but not with increased 180-day cardiovascular mortality (P = 0.507).

Conclusions: In patients hospitalized for AHF, a poor diuretic response was associated with a poor in-hospital and early post-discharge clinical outcome. Serelaxin had a neutral effect on diuretic response.

Trial registration: NCT00520806.

Keywords: Diuretic response; Heart failure; Renal function.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Furosemide / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Placebos
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Diuretics
  • Placebos
  • Furosemide

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00520806