Clinical question: Does low-dose dopamine or low-dose nesiritide added to diuretic therapy enhance pulmonary volume reduction and preserve renal function in patients with acute heart failure and renal dysfunction, compared to placebo?
Background: Small studies have suggested that low-dose dopamine or low-dose nesiritide may be beneficial in enhancing decongestion and improving renal dysfunction; however, there is ambiguity in overall benefit. Some observational studies suggest that dopamine and nesiritide are associated with higher length of stay, higher costs, and greater mortality.
Study Design: RCT.
Setting: Twenty-six hospital sites in the U.S. and Canada.
Synopsis: Three hundred sixty patients with acute heart failure and renal dysfunction were randomized to receive either nesiritide or dopamine within 24 hours of admission. Within each of these arms, patients were then randomized, in a double-blinded 2:1 fashion, into active treatment versus placebo groups. Treatment groups were compared to the pooled placebo groups.
Two main endpoints were urine output and change in serum cystatin C, from enrollment to 72 hours. Compared with placebo, low-dose dopamine had no significant effect on urine output or serum cystatin C level. Similarly, low-dose nesiritide had no significant effect on 72-hour urine output or serum cystatin C level.
Other studies have shown these drugs to be potentially harmful. Hospitalists should use caution and carefully interpret the relevant evidence when considering their use.
Bottom line: Neither low-dose nesiritide nor low-dose dopamine improved urine output or serum cystatin C levels at 72 hours in patients with acute heart failure and renal dysfunction.
Citation: Chen HH, Anstrom KJ, Givertz MM, et al. Low-dose dopamine or low-dose nesiritide in acute heart failure with renal dysfunction: The ROSE acute heart failure randomized trial. JAMA. 2013;310(23):2533-2543.