Comparison of dobutamine-based and milrinone-based therapy for advanced decompensated congestive heart failure: Hemodynamic efficacy, clinical outcome, and economic impact

Mohamad H. Yamani, Showkat A. Haji, Randall C. Starling, Linda Kelly, Nancy Albert, Deborah L. Knack, James B. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


Background: The use of parenteral positive inotropic agents still remains a major component of therapy for patients with advanced decompensated congestive heart failure (CHF). However, no consensus guidelines have been developed for the appropriate selection of a first-line inotropic therapy. We sought to compare the clinical outcome and economic cost of dobutamine-based and milrinone-based therapy in patients with acute exacerbation of CHF. Methods and Results: We retrospectively analyzed the outcome of 329 patients admitted to the heart failure unit with acute exacerbation of CHF. More patients were treated with dobutamine-based therapy (269/329, 81.7%) than with milrinone-based therapy (60/329, 18.3%). Both groups had similar baseline characteristics and similar hemodynamic profiles at baseline, with the exception of higher mean pulmonary arterial pressure in the milrinone group (47 mm Hg vs 42 mm Hg, P < .001). One hundred nine patients (40%) of the dobutamine group required parenteral nitroprusside for hemodynamic optimization compared with 11 patients (18%) in the milrinone group (P < .001). The use of parenteral nitroglycerin and dopamine was similar in both groups. There was no significant difference in the in-hospital mortality rate (dobutamine 7.8% vs milrinone 10%) or clinical outcome between the 2 groups. However, the average direct drug cost per patient was significantly reduced in the dobutamine group compared with the milrinone group ($45 ± $10 vs $1855 ± $350, P < .0001). Conclusion: Dobutamine-based therapy is an attractive approach for the treatment of decompensated advanced heart failure, achieving comparable clinical efficacy to milrinone with a significantly reduced economic cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1002
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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