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1.  Ultrafiltration in Decompensated Heart Failure with Cardiorenal Syndrome 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(24):2296-2304.
BACKGROUND
Ultrafiltration is an alternative strategy to diuretic therapy for the treatment of patients with acute decompensated heart failure. Little is known about the efficacy and safety of ultrafiltration in patients with acute decompensated heart failure complicated by persistent congestion and worsened renal function.
METHODS
We randomly assigned a total of 188 patients with acute decompensated heart failure, worsened renal function, and persistent congestion to a strategy of stepped pharmacologic therapy (94 patients) or ultrafiltration (94 patients). The primary end point was the bivariate change from baseline in the serum creatinine level and body weight, as assessed 96 hours after random assignment. Patients were followed for 60 days.
RESULTS
Ultrafiltration was inferior to pharmacologic therapy with respect to the bivariate end point of the change in the serum creatinine level and body weight 96 hours after enrollment (P=0.003), owing primarily to an increase in the creatinine level in the ultrafiltration group. At 96 hours, the mean change in the creatinine level was −0.04±0.53 mg per deciliter (−3.5±46.9 μmol per liter) in the pharmacologic-therapy group, as compared with +0.23±0.70 mg per deciliter (20.3±61.9 μmol per liter) in the ultrafiltration group (P=0.003). There was no significant difference in weight loss 96 hours after enrollment between patients in the pharmacologic-therapy group and those in the ultrafiltration group (a loss of 5.5±5.1 kg [12.1±11.3 lb] and 5.7±3.9 kg [12.6±8.5 lb], respectively; P=0.58). A higher percentage of patients in the ultrafiltration group than in the pharmacologic-therapy group had a serious adverse event (72% vs. 57%, P=0.03).
CONCLUSIONS
In a randomized trial involving patients hospitalized for acute decompensated heart failure, worsened renal function, and persistent congestion, the use of a stepped pharmacologic-therapy algorithm was superior to a strategy of ultrafiltration for the preservation of renal function at 96 hours, with a similar amount of weight loss with the two approaches. Ultrafiltration was associated with a higher rate of adverse events.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1210357
PMCID: PMC3690472  PMID: 23131078
2.  Coronary-Artery Bypass Surgery in Patients with Left Ventricular Dysfunction 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(17):1607-1616.
BACKGROUND
The role of coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) in the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure has not been clearly established.
METHODS
Between July 2002 and May 2007, a total of 1212 patients with an ejection fraction of 35% or less and coronary artery disease amenable to CABG were randomly assigned to medical therapy alone (602 patients) or medical therapy plus CABG (610 patients). The primary outcome was the rate of death from any cause. Major secondary outcomes included the rates of death from cardiovascular causes and of death from any cause or hospitalization for cardiovascular causes.
RESULTS
The primary outcome occurred in 244 patients (41%) in the medical-therapy group and 218 (36%) in the CABG group (hazard ratio with CABG, 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.04; P = 0.12). A total of 201 patients (33%) in the medical-therapy group and 168 (28%) in the CABG group died from an adjudicated cardiovascular cause (hazard ratio with CABG, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.00; P = 0.05). Death from any cause or hospitalization for cardiovascular causes occurred in 411 patients (68%) in the medical-therapy group and 351 (58%) in the CABG group (hazard ratio with CABG, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.85; P<0.001). By the end of the follow-up period (median, 56 months), 100 patients in the medical-therapy group (17%) underwent CABG, and 555 patients in the CABG group (91%) underwent CABG.
CONCLUSIONS
In this randomized trial, there was no significant difference between medical therapy alone and medical therapy plus CABG with respect to the primary end point of death from any cause. Patients assigned to CABG, as compared with those assigned to medical therapy alone, had lower rates of death from cardiovascular causes and of death from any cause or hospitalization for cardiovascular causes. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Abbott Laboratories; STICH ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00023595.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1100356
PMCID: PMC3415273  PMID: 21463150
3.  Diuretic Strategies in Patients with Acute Decompensated Heart Failure 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(9):797-805.
Background
Loop diuretics are an essential component of therapy for patients with acute decompensated heart failure, but there are few prospective data to guide their use.
Methods
In a prospective, double-blind, randomized trial, we assigned 308 patients with acute decompensated heart failure to receive furosemide administered intravenously by means of either a bolus every 12 hours or continuous infusion and at either a low dose (equivalent to the patient's previous oral dose) or a high dose (2.5 times the previous oral dose). The protocol allowed specified dose adjustments after 48 hours. The coprimary end points were patients' global assessment of symptoms, quantified as the area under the curve (AUC) of the score on a visual-analogue scale over the course of 72 hours, and the change in the serum creatinine level from baseline to 72 hours.
Results
In the comparison of bolus with continuous infusion, there was no significant difference in patients' global assessment of symptoms (mean AUC, 4236±1440 and 4373±1404, respectively; P = 0.47) or in the mean change in the creatinine level (0.05±0.3 mg per deciliter [4.4±26.5 μmol per liter] and 0.07±0.3 mg per deciliter [6.2±26.5μmol per liter], respectively; P = 0.45). In the comparison of the high-dose strategy with the low-dose strategy, there was a nonsignificant trend toward greater improvement in patients' global assessment of symptoms in the high-dose group (mean AUC, 4430±1401 vs. 4171±1436; P = 0.06). There was no significant difference between these groups in the mean change in the creatinine level (0.08±0.3 mg per deciliter [7.1±26.5 μmol per liter] with the high-dose strategy and 0.04±0.3 mg per deciliter [3.5±26.5 μmol per liter] with the low-dose strategy, P = 0.21). The high-dose strategy was associated with greater diuresis and more favorable outcomes in some secondary measures but also with transient worsening of renal function.
Conclusions
Among patients with acute decompensated heart failure, there were no significant differences in patients' global assessment of symptoms or in the change in renal function when diuretic therapy was administered by bolus as compared with continuous infusion or at a high dose as compared with a low dose. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00577135.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1005419
PMCID: PMC3412356  PMID: 21366472
4.  Myocardial Viability and Survival in Ischemic Left Ventricular Dysfunction 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2011;364(17):1617-1625.
BACKGROUND
The assessment of myocardial viability has been used to identify patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction in whom coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) will provide a survival benefit. However, the efficacy of this approach is uncertain.
METHODS
In a substudy of patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction who were enrolled in a randomized trial of medical therapy with or without CABG, we used single-photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT), dobutamine echocardiography, or both to assess myocardial viability on the basis of pre-specified thresholds.
RESULTS
Among the 1212 patients enrolled in the randomized trial, 601 underwent assessment of myocardial viability. Of these patients, we randomly assigned 298 to receive medical therapy plus CABG and 303 to receive medical therapy alone. A total of 178 of 487 patients with viable myocardium (37%) and 58 of 114 patients without viable myocardium (51%) died (hazard ratio for death among patients with viable myocardium, 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48 to 0.86; P = 0.003). However, after adjustment for other baseline variables, this association with mortality was not significant (P = 0.21). There was no significant interaction between viability status and treatment assignment with respect to mortality (P = 0.53).
CONCLUSIONS
The presence of viable myocardium was associated with a greater likelihood of survival in patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction, but this relationship was not significant after adjustment for other baseline variables. The assessment of myocardial viability did not identify patients with a differential survival benefit from CABG, as compared with medical therapy alone. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; STICH ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00023595.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1100358
PMCID: PMC3290901  PMID: 21463153
5.  Coronary Bypass Surgery with or without Surgical Ventricular Reconstruction 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2009;360(17):1705-1717.
BACKGROUND
Surgical ventricular reconstruction is a specific procedure designed to reduce left ventricular volume in patients with heart failure caused by coronary artery disease. We conducted a trial to address the question of whether surgical ventricular reconstruction added to coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) would decrease the rate of death or hospitalization for cardiac causes, as compared with CABG alone.
METHODS
Between September 2002 and January 2006, a total of 1000 patients with an ejection fraction of 35% or less, coronary artery disease that was amenable to CABG, and dominant anterior left ventricular dysfunction that was amenable to surgical ventricular reconstruction were randomly assigned to undergo either CABG alone (499 patients) or CABG with surgical ventricular reconstruction (501 patients). The primary outcome was a composite of death from any cause and hospitalization for cardiac causes. The median follow-up was 48 months.
RESULTS
Surgical ventricular reconstruction reduced the end-systolic volume index by 19%, as compared with a reduction of 6% with CABG alone. Cardiac symptoms and exercise tolerance improved from baseline to a similar degree in the two study groups. However, no significant difference was observed in the primary outcome, which occurred in 292 patients (59%) who were assigned to undergo CABG alone and in 289 patients (58%) who were assigned to undergo CABG with surgical ventricular reconstruction (hazard ratio for the combined approach, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.17; P = 0.90).
CONCLUSIONS
Adding surgical ventricular reconstruction to CABG reduced the left ventricular volume, as compared with CABG alone. However, this anatomical change was not associated with a greater improvement in symptoms or exercise tolerance or with a reduction in the rate of death or hospitalization for cardiac causes. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00023595.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0900559
PMCID: PMC3265934  PMID: 19329820

Results 1-5 (5)