Diuretic drugs are sometimes considered to be only of symptomatic value for persons with cardiac disease. Their beneficial effects in patients with pronounced dropsy are unquestioned, but minimal or latent edema is not generally considered as an important indication for their use.
Our own experience with diuretics has led us to believe that they possess much more therapeutic value than has been generally recognized. We have often observed amelioration of paroxysmal dyspnea, cough and other symptoms of cardiac failure, both in hospitalized and in ambulatory patients, following their use. This has occurred when no other change has been made in the therapeutic regimen and even when diuresis has been of slight degree.
We also gained the impression that the repeated use of diuretics in patients with minimal or latent edema tends to prolong life. With this in mind a group of case records were analyzed, and it was found that
FRIEDMAN B, RESNIK H, CALHOUN JA, HARRISON TR. EFFECT OF DIURETICS ON THE CARDIAC OUTPUT OF PATIENTS WITH CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1935;56(2):341–350. doi:10.1001/archinte.1935.03920020133008
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