Worsening renal function during decongestion among patients hospitalized for heart failure: Findings from the Evaluation Study of Congestive Heart Failure and Pulmonary Artery Catheterization Effectiveness (ESCAPE) trial

Am Heart J. 2018 Oct;204:163-173. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2018.07.019. Epub 2018 Jul 29.


Introduction: Worsening renal function (WRF) can occur throughout a hospitalization for acute heart failure (HF). However, decongestion can be measured in different ways and the prognostic implications of WRF in the setting of different measures of decongestion are unclear.

Methods: Patients (N = 433) from the ESCAPE were classified by measures of decongestion during hospitalization: hemodynamic (right atrial pressure ≤8 mmHg and/or wedge pressure ≤15 mmHg at discharge), clinical (≤1 sign of congestion at discharge), hemoconcentration (any increase in hemoglobin) and estimated plasma volume using the Hakim formula (5% reduction in plasma volume). WRF was defined as creatinine increase ≥0.3 mg/dl during hospitalization. The association between WRF and 180-day all-cause death was assessed.

Results: Successful decongestion was observed in 124 (60%) patients by hemodynamics, 204 (49%) by clinical exam, 173 (47%) by hemoconcentration, and 165 (45%) by plasma volume. There was no agreement between the hemodynamic assessment and other decongestion measures in up to 43% of cases. Persistent congestion with concomitant WRF at discharge was associated with worse outcomes compared to patients without congestion and WRF. Among patients decongested at discharge, in-hospital WRF was not significantly associated with 180-day all-cause death, when using hemodynamic, clinical or estimated plasma volume as measures of decongestion (P > .05 for all markers).

Conclusions: In patients hospitalized for HF, although there was disagreement across common measures of decongestion, in-hospital WRF was not associated with increased hazard of all-cause mortality among patients successfully decongested at discharge.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Catheterization, Swan-Ganz*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Patient Readmission
  • Plasma Volume
  • Renal Insufficiency / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hemoglobins
  • Creatinine