Background: Inadequate decongestion is common in hospitalized heart failure (HF) patients and may contribute to readmissions. Our purpose was to use remote dielectric sensing (ReDS) technology to measure lung congestion at discharge in patients admitted with acute HF and to see if a device-targeted intervention could reduce HF readmission rates.
Methods: We conducted a prospective pilot study of patients admitted with acute decompensated HF randomized to receive standard therapy or ReDS-guided therapy to determine the timing of hospital discharge based on the amount of lung congestion present after diuresis. ReDS measurement was performed for all patients once they were deemed ready for discharge. Patients in the treatment arm with residual lung congestion defined by ReDS ≥39% had HF consultation and further diuresis.
Results: Of 108 HF patients (50% male, age 73.6 ± 12.6 years, BMI 29.3 ± 4.3 kg/m2, EF 38.5 ± 15.1%, BNP 1138 ± 987 pg/mL), 32% demonstrated residual lung congestion at the time of proposed hospital discharge. ReDS guided therapy triggered additional diuresis in 30% (18/60) of the patients in the treatment arm (average weight loss 5.6 pounds, p = 0.02). 30-day HF readmission rates were similar in the treatment and the control arms (1.7% vs 4.2%; p = 0.44). Patients discharged as planned with residual lung congestion with ReDS ≥39% had higher 30-day readmission rate compared to patients who were adequately decongested at discharge with ReDS <39% (11.8% vs. 1.4%, p = 0.03).
Conclusion: In our single-center cohort, ReDS testing demonstrated that 32% of HF patients deemed ready for discharge have clinically significant residual lung congestion which was associated with a higher risk of readmission. ReDS-guided management was associated with significant decongestion but not a reduction in HF readmissions in this sample.
Keywords: Fluid management; Heart failure; Non-invasive lung fluid volume; Remote Dielectric Sensing.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.