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Safety and efficacy of ultrafiltration versus diuretics in patients with decompensated heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis

      Highlights

      • Patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction who develop resistance to diuretics have limited options.
      • Ultrafiltration is an alternative option for removal of excessive fluid in diuretic resistant patients presenting with exacerbation of heart failure.
      • Efficacy and safety of ultrafiltration is comparable to that of diuretics.

      Abstract

      Background

      Ultrafiltration (UF) is used for fluid removal patients with acute decompensated heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) refractory to diuretics. However, data on the relative merits of UF and diuretics are limited.

      Methods

      Online databases were queried to identify clinical trials on the comparison of UF and diuretics. The major adverse cardiovascular (MACE) and its components (mortality and re-hospitalizations) were compared using the random-effects model to calculate the unadjusted odds ratio (OR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI).

      Results

      A total of 10 clinical trials comprising 838 patients (413 UF, 425 diuretics) were included in the analysis. At a median follow-up of 90 days, there was no significant difference in the odds of MACE (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.47–1.07) and all-cause mortality (OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.77–1.52) between patients undergoing UF compared with those receiving diuretics therapy. The need for emergency department visits (OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.38–2.90), all-cause admissions (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.72–1.30) and heart failure-related re-hospitalization (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.21–1.02) was also similar between the two groups. The in-hospital risk for hypotension (OR 0.49, 0.23–1.04) and post-therapy creatinine rise>0.3 mg/dL (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.74–1.89) was also not significantly different between the UF and diuretics arms. A sensitivity analysis of MACE and mortality did not show any deviation from the pooled outcomes.

      Conclusions

      In patients with HFrEF, UF appears to be safe but might not provide significant benefits in terms of reducing the risk of mortality or readmission rates compared with those treated with diuretics.
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