Purpose: The safety and efficacy of continuous infusion vs bolus injection of intravenous loop diuretics to treat acute decompensated heart failure were debated. Our aim is to compare the administration routes of diuretics in hospitalized patients with acute decompensated heart failure. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was performed to evaluate the effects of continuous infusion vs bolus administration of loop diuretics in patients with acute decompensated heart failure. The primary end points were urine outputs, body weight loss, all causes of mortality, and death from cardiovascular causes. Secondary end points were electrolyte imbalance, change in creatinine levels, tinnitus or hearing loss, and days of hospitalization. Results: Ten randomized controlled trials with 518 patients were identified. Continuous infusion of diuretics was associated with a significantly greater weight loss (weighted mean difference, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.03-1.54) compared with bolus injection. Urine output, the incidence of electrolyte imbalance, change in creatinine level, length of hospitalization, the incidence of ototoxicity, cardiac mortality, and all-cause mortality showed no significant differences between the 2 groups. Conclusion: Meta-analysis of the existing limited studies did not confirm any significant differences in the safety and efficacy with continuous administration of loop diuretic, compared with bolus injection in patients with acute decompensated heart failure.
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