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      Is worsening renal function an ominous prognostic sign in patients with acute heart failure? The role of congestion and its interaction with renal function.

      Circulation. Heart Failure

      Aged, Retrospective Studies, Prognosis, Multivariate Analysis, Middle Aged, Male, physiopathology, Kidney, Humans, mortality, diagnosis, blood, Heart Failure, Follow-Up Studies, Female, Creatinine, Biological Markers, Aged, 80 and over, Acute Disease, Survival Rate

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          Worsening renal function (WRF), traditionally defined as an increase in serum creatinine levels ≥0.3 mg/dL, is a frequent finding in patients with acute heart failure (AHF) and has been associated with poorer outcomes in some but not all studies. We hypothesized that these discrepancies may be caused by the interaction between WRF and congestion in AHF patients. We measured serum creatinine levels on a daily basis during the hospitalization and assessed the persistence of signs of congestion at discharge in 599 consecutive patients admitted at our institute for AHF. They had a postdischarge mortality and mortality or AHF readmission rates of 13% and 43%, respectively, after 1 year. Patients were subdivided into 4 groups according to the development or not of WRF and the persistence of ≥1 sign of congestion at discharge. Patients with WRF and no congestion had similar outcomes compared with those with no WRF and no congestion, whereas the risk of death or of death or AHF readmission was increased in the patients with persistent congestion alone and in those with both WRF and congestion (hazard ratio, 5.35; 95% confidence interval, 3.0-9.55 at univariable analysis; hazard ratio, 2.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.24-4.18 at multivariable analysis for mortality; hazard ratio, 2.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.39-3.3 at univariable analysis; and hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.88-2.2 at multivariable analysis for mortality and rehospitalizations). WRF alone, when detected using serial serum creatinine measurements, is not an independent determinant of outcomes in patients with AHF. It has an additive prognostic value when it occurs in patients with persistent signs of congestion.

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