Rates of In-Hospital Decongestion and Association with Mortality and Cardiovascular Outcomes Among Patients Admitted for Acute Heart Failure



      Decongestion is an important goal in the management of acute heart failure. Whether the rate of decongestion is associated with mortality and cardiovascular outcomes is unknown.


      Using data from 4133 patients from the Efficacy of Vasopressin Antagonism in Heart Failure Outcome Study With Tolvaptan (EVEREST) trial, we used multivariable Cox regression models to evaluate the association between rates of in-hospital change in assessments of volume overload, including b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), as well as change in hemoconcentration, with risk of all-cause mortality and a composite outcome of cardiovascular mortality or heart failure hospitalization.


      More rapid rates of in-hospital decongestion were associated with decreased risk of mortality and the composite outcome over a median 10-month follow-up. In reference to the quartile of slowest decline, the quartile with the fastest BNP and NT-proBNP decline had lower hazards of mortality (hazard rate [HR] = 0.43 [0.31, 0.59] and HR = 0.27 [0.19, 0.40], respectively) and composite outcome (HR = 0.49 [0.39, 0.60] and HR = 0.54 [0.42, 0.71], respectively). In reference to the quartile of slowest increase, the quartile with the fastest hematocrit increase had lower hazards of mortality (HR = 0.77 [0.62, 0.95]) and composite outcome (HR = 0.75 [0.64, 0.88]). Results were also consistent when models were repeated using propensity-score matching.


      Faster rates of decongestion are associated with reduced risk of mortality and a composite of cardiovascular mortality and heart failure hospitalization. It remains unknown whether more rapid decongestion provides cardiovascular benefit or whether it serves as a proxy for less treatment resistant heart failure.


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