Pearls and Pitfalls in the Use and Abuse of Diuretics for Chronic Congestive Heart FailureConstant J.
State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y., USA
The main purpose of using diuretics is usually lost sight of, i.e. it is for the relief of dyspnea by using the least amount of a diuretic. The production of a low output state and hypercoagulation in an attempt to achieve dry weight by lowering blood volume excessively are among the hazards of using more diuretic than is absolutely necessary to achieve the goal of relieving dyspnea. The use of jugular venous pressure measurement and the status of dyspnea should have precedence over body weight in determining diuretic dose adjustment. Often forgotten in using diuretics is that potassium without magnesium will not enter cells and that the almost universal preference for furosemide over thiazides threatens to increase the incidence of osteoporosis. Also, the tendency to ignore loss of the water-soluble vitamins thiamine and ascorbic acid may result in refractory edema and the inability to manage the stresses of congestive heart failure.
Jules Constant, MD, FACC
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
State University of New York at Buffalo
57 Tillinghast Place
Buffalo, NY 14216-3408 (USA)
Received: Received: August 2, 1999
Accepted: August 12, 1999
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 34
Cardiology (International Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine, Surgery andPathology)
Founded 1937 as ‘Cardiologia’ by Bruno Kisch and WilhelmLöffler
Vol. 92, No. 3, Year 1999 (Cover Date: Released February 2000)
Journal Editor: Joseph S. Alpert, Tucson, Ariz.
ISSN: 0008–6312 (print), 1421–9751 (Online)
For additional information:http://www.karger.com/journals/crd