Aggressive Fluid and Sodium Restriction in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure.

Importance  The benefits of fluid and sodium restriction in patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) are unclear.

Objective  To compare the effects of a fluid-restricted (maximum fluid intake, 800 mL/d) and sodium-restricted (maximum dietary intake, 800 mg/d) diet (intervention group [IG]) vs a diet with no such restrictions (control group [CG]) on weight loss and clinical stability during a 3-day period in patients hospitalized with ADHF.

Design  Randomized, parallel-group clinical trial with blinded outcome assessments.

Setting  Emergency room, wards, and intensive care unit.

Participants  Adult inpatients with ADHF, systolic dysfunction, and a length of stay of 36 hours or less.

Intervention  Fluid restriction (maximum fluid intake, 800 mL/d) and additional sodium restriction (maximum dietary intake, 800 mg/d) were carried out until the seventh hospital day or, in patients whose length of stay was less than 7 days, until discharge. The CG received a standard hospital diet, with liberal fluid and sodium intake.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Weight loss and clinical stability at 3-day assessment, daily perception of thirst, and readmissions within 30 days.

Results  Seventy-five patients were enrolled (IG, 38; CG, 37). Most were male; ischemic heart disease was the predominant cause of heart failure (17 patients [23%]), and the mean (SD) left ventricular ejection fraction was 26% (8.7%). The groups were homogeneous in terms of baseline characteristics. Weight loss was similar in both groups (between-group difference in variation of 0.25 kg [95% CI, −1.95 to 2.45]; P = .82) as well as change in clinical congestion score (between-group difference in variation of 0.59 points [95% CI, −2.21 to 1.03]; P = .47) at 3 days. Thirst was significantly worse in the IG (5.1 [2.9]) than the CG (3.44 [2.0]) at the end of the study period (between-group difference, 1.66 points; time × group interaction; P = .01). There were no significant between-group differences in the readmission rate at 30 days (IG, 11 patients [29%]; CG, 7 patients [19%]; P = .41).

Conclusions and Relevance  Aggressive fluid and sodium restriction has no effect on weight loss or clinical stability at 3 days and is associated with a significant increase in perceived thirst. We conclude that sodium and water restriction in patients admitted for ADHF are unnecessary.

Source: JAMA



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