Ann Transl Med. 2021 Mar;9(6):517. doi: 10.21037/atm-20-4600.
Heart failure (HF) is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. According to a 2019 American Heart Association report, about 6.2 million American adults had HF between 2013 and 2016, being responsible for almost 1 million admissions. As the population ages, the prevalence of HF is anticipated to increase, with 8 million Americans projected to have HF by 2030, posing a significant public health and financial burden. Acute decompensated HF (ADHF) is a syndrome characterized by volume overload and inadequate cardiac output associated with symptoms including some combination of exertional shortness of breath, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (PND), fatigue, tissue congestion (e.g., peripheral edema) and decreased mentation. The pathology is characterized by hemodynamic abnormalities that result in autonomic imbalance with an increase in sympathetic activity, withdrawal of vagal activity and neurohormonal activation (NA) resulting in increased plasma volume in the setting of decreased sodium excretion, increased water retention and in turn an elevation of filling pressures. These neurohormonal changes are adaptive mechanisms which in the short term are associated with increased contractility of the left ventricular (LV) and improvement in cardiac output. But chronically, the failing heart is unable to overcome the excessive pressure and volume leading to worsening HF. The primary symptomatic management of ADHF includes intravenous (IV) diuresis to help with decongestion and return to euvolemic status. Even though diuretics have not been shown to provide any mortality benefit, they have been clinically proven to be of significant benefit in the acute decompensated phase, as well as in chronic management of HF. Loop diuretics remain the mainstay of therapy for symptomatic management of HF with use of thiazide diuretics for synergistic effect in the setting of diuretic resistance. Poor diuretic efficacy has been linked with higher mortality and increased rehospitalizations.