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February 1988

High-Dose Furosemide in the Treatment of Refractory Congestive Heart Failure

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, St Joseph Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(2):286-291. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380020030006

• Thirty-five patients with severe chronic congestive heart failure that was refractory to conventional therapy were given high dosages of furosemide (250 to 4000 mg/d) because of significantly reduced renal function (mean endogenous creatinine clearance, 0.53 mL/s/1.73 m2 [32 mL/min/1.73 m2]). Natriuresis, weight reduction (mean, 11 kg), and relief of symptoms were achieved in all patients. The mean survival after the start of the high-dose furosemide therapy was 11.3 months (range, 0.5 to 36 months) (n = 35). When this therapy eventually failed, long-term intermittent hemofiltration was performed in eight selected cases, further prolonging survival (mean, 3.0 months). High-dose furosemide therapy and hemofiltration improved the quality of life and prolonged survival. The use of diuretics in congestive heart failure should therefore include treatment with high-dose furosemide, which is effective and can be given over a long period without serious side effects.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:286-291)