Background: Findings from heart failure (HF) studies linking diuresis-related weight loss to clinical decongestion and outcomes are mixed. Differential responses of interstitial and intravascular volume compartments to diuretic therapy and heterogeneity in volume profiles may confound the clinical interpretation of weight loss in patients with HF. Methods and Results: Data were prospectively collected in hospitalized patients requiring diuresis. Plasma volume (PV) was measured using I-131-labelled albumin indicator-dilution methodology. The cohort was stratified by tertiles of weight loss and analyzed for interstitial fluid loss relative to changes in PV and HF-related morality or first rehospitalization. Among 92 patients, the admission PV was expanded +42% (4.7 ± 1.2 L) above normal with significant variability (14% normal PV, 18% mild-moderate expansion, and 68% with large PV expansion [>+25% above normal]). With diuresis there were proportional decreases in interstitial volume (–6.5 ± 4.4%) and PV (–7.5 ± 11%); however, absolute decreases in the PV (–254 mL, interquartile range –11 to –583 mL) were less than 10% of interstitial volume loss (–5040 mL, interquartile range –2800 to –7989 mL); greater interstitial fluid loss did not translate into better outcomes (log-rank P = .430). Conclusions: Diuresis-related decreases in weight reflect fluid loss from the interstitial compartment with only minor changes in the PV and without an impact on outcomes. Further, the degree of PV expansion at hospital admission does not drive the magnitude of the diuresis response, even with a wide spectrum of body weights; interstitial fluid overload is preferentially targeted and PV relatively preserved. Therefore, greater interstitial fluid loss reflects clinical decongestion, but not better outcomes, and a limited association with intravascular volume profiles potentially confounding weight loss as a prognostic metric in HF.
- heart failure
- interstitial volume
- Intravascular volume
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine