Furosemide induces mortality in a rat model of chronic heart failure

Hirofumi Rokutan, Christian Suckow, Stephan von Haehling, Sabine Strassburg, Barbara Bockmeyer, Wolfram Doehner, Christiane Waller, Johann Bauersachs, Karoline von Websky, Berthold Hocher, Stefan D Anker, Jochen Springer

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OBJECTIVES: In an experimental heart failure model, we tested the hypothesis that furosemide causes excess mortality. BACKGROUND: Post-hoc analysis of large clinical heart failure trails revealed that furosemide treatment might be associated with worsening of morbidity and even mortality in heart failure patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: Myocardial infarction was induced in 7±1week old male Wistar rats by ligation of the left coronary artery. In study 1, animals were randomly assigned to treatment with furosemide (10mg/kg/d via drinking water, n=33) or placebo (n=33) starting 18days after surgery. In study 2, animals received furosemide from day 18 and were then randomized to ongoing treatment with either furosemide only (n=38) or furosemide plus ACE-inhibitor Ramipril (1mg/kg/d, n=38) starting on day 42. In study 1 survival rate in the furosemide group was lower than in the placebo group (hazard ratio {HR} 3.39, 95% confidence interval {CI} 1.14 to 10.09, p=0.028). The furosemide group had a lower body weight (-6%, p=0.028) at the end of the study and a higher sclerosis index of the glomeruli (+9%, p=0.026) than the placebo group. Wet lung weight, infarct size, and cardiac function were similar between the groups. In study 2, the furosemide group had a higher mortality rate than the furosemide+ramipril group (HR 4.55, 95% CI 2.0 to 10.0, p=0.0003). CONCLUSION: In our rat model of heart failure furosemide, provided at a standard dose, was associated with increased mortality. This increased mortality could be prevented by additional administration of an ACE-inhibitor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
Early online date28 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2012

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