News and Events

Rambam Study Reveals Breakthrough Findings in Heart Failure Treatment

Publication Date: 6/10/2024 9:00 AM

A recent study conducted at the Heart Failure Unit at Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel, examined three primary treatments for persistent fluid buildup in heart failure patients. The study evaluated the safety of each approach and pinpointed the most effective treatment, positioning it to improve patient care worldwide.

Rambam's heart failure team. Photography: Rambam HCC.
Rambam's heart failure team. Photography: Rambam HCC.

Heart failure remains a prevalent condition affecting millions worldwide, necessitating effective management strategies to alleviate symptoms and enhance patient well-being. In a pioneering effort, the Heart Failure Unit at Rambam has conducted a groundbreaking study focusing on optimizing treatment for fluid buildup in chronic heart failure patients.

Traditionally, heart failure treatment comprises two main approaches: medications to stabilize heart function and fluid management to address excess fluid accumulation in the body. While medications have undergone extensive scrutiny, fluid management strategies, primarily relying on diuretics, have lacked comprehensive scientific evaluation.

The Heart Failure Unit’s Dr. Aharon Abbo, alongside Dr. Amit Gruber and Dr. Ina Volis, spearheaded the study evaluating the efficacy and safety of three common treatment regimens for fluid overload in chronic heart failure patients. The study recruited 42 patients and explored three treatment protocols:

  • High-dose intravenous (IV) furosemide
  • High-dose IV furosemide combined with metolazone (oral medication)
  • High-dose IV furosemide combined with acetazolamide

Findings unveiled a significant enhancement in salt excretion and volume reduction when furosemide was combined with metolazone, resulting in substantial weight loss compared to alternative treatments. Conversely, the combination of furosemide with acetazolamide, proven effective in acute heart failure cases, proved ineffective for chronic heart failure patients.

In targeting patients resistant to oral diuretics, the study offers valuable insights for those in advanced heart failure stages requiring intravenous diuretic therapy. Despite the small sample size, the study design, which allowed each patient to serve as their control, yielded compelling evidence of treatment effectiveness.

Notably, the study highlights the need for tailored treatment approaches in chronic heart failure, emphasizing the disparity between acute and chronic conditions. Future endeavors will harness data from this research to deepen understanding and refine heart failure treatment strategies, contributing to improved patient outcomes globally.

Read the original study in JACC Heart Failure.

Based on Hebrew article published by Rambam’s director of the Heart Failure Unit, Dr. Oren Caspi, on Ynet.