About 5% of patients with heart failure (HF) reach the end-stage of disease, becoming refractory to therapy. The clinical course of end-stage HF is characterized by repeated hospitalizations, severe symptoms, and poor quality of life. Peritoneal ultrafiltration (PUF), removing water and sodium (Na+), can benefit patients with end-stage HF. However, effects on fluid and electrolyte removal have not been fully characterized.
In this pilot study in patients with chronic HF and moderate chronic renal failure, we evaluated the effects of water and sodium removal through PUF on ventricular remodeling, re-hospitalization, and quality of life.
Patients with end-stage HF (NYHA class IV, ≥3 HF hospitalization/year despite optimal therapy), not eligible for heart transplantation underwent peritoneal catheter positioning and began a single-day exchange with icodextrin at night (n=6), or 1-2 daily exchanges with hypertonic solution (3.86%) for 2 hours with 1.5-2 L fill volume (n=3).
At baseline, average ultrafiltration was 500±200 ml with icodextrin, and 700±100 ml with hypertonic solution. Peritoneal excretion of Na+ was greater with icodextrin (68±4 mEq/exchange) compared to hypertonic solution (45±19 mEq/exchange).
After a median 12-month follow-up, rehospitalizations decreased, while NYHA class and quality of life (by Minnesota Living with HF questionnaire), improved.
In end-stage HF patients, PUF reduced re-hospitalization and improved quality of life. It can be an additional treatment to control volume and sodium balance.
Keywords: Peritoneal ultrafiltration, heart failure, sodium balance, renal failure