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Open Access Efficacy and Renal Tolerability of Ultrafiltration in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review of 19 Randomized Controlled Trials

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

Background: Acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) is a life-threatening and costly disease. Controversy remains regarding the efficacy and renal tolerability of ultrafiltration for treating ADHF. We therefore performed this meta-analysis to evaluate this clinical issue.

Methods: A search of PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane database of controlled trials was performed from inception to March 2021 for relevant randomized controlled trials. The quality of the included trials and outcomes was evaluated with the use of the risk of bias assessment tool and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach, respectively. The risk ratio and the standardized mean difference (SMD) or weighted mean difference (WMD) were computed and pooled with fixed-effects or random-effects models.

Results: This meta-analysis included 19 studies involving 1281 patients. Ultrafiltration was superior to the control treatments for weight loss (WMD 1.24 kg, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.38‐2.09 kg, P=0.004) and fluid removal (WMD 1.55 L, 95% CI 0.51‐2.59 l, P=0.003) and was associated with a significant increase in serum creatinine level compared with the control treatments (SMD 0.15 mg/dL, 95% CI 0.00‐0.30 mg/dL, P=0.04). However, no significant effects were found for serum N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide level, length of hospital stay, all-cause mortality, or all-cause rehospitalization in the ultrafiltration group.

Conclusions: The use of ultrafiltration in patients with ADHF is superior to the use of the control treatments for weight loss and fluid removal, but has adverse renal effects and lacks significant effects on long-term prognosis, indicating that this approach to decongestion in ADHF patients is efficient for fluid management but less safe renally.

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Keywords: Ultrafiltration; acute decompensated heart failure; diuretic; meta-analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Cardiology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China 2: Department of Nephrology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

Publication date: September 1, 2021

This article was made available online on August 3, 2021 as a Fast Track article with title: "Efficacy and Renal Tolerability of Ultrafiltration in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review of 19 Randomized Controlled Trials".

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  • Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) publishes focused articles and original clinical research that explore novel developments in cardiovascular disease, effective control and rehabilitation in cardiovascular disease, and promote cardiovascular innovations and applications for the betterment of public health globally. The journal publishes basic research that has clinical applicability in order to promote timely communication of the latest insights relating to coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, prevention of cardiovascular disease with a heavy emphasis on risk factor modification. Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications is the official journal of the Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology (GW-ICC). It aims to continue the work of the GW-ICC by providing a global scientific communication platform for cardiologists that bridges East and West.

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