Heart and Vessels

, Volume 34, Issue 12, pp 1952–1960 | Cite as

Acetazolamide as a potent chloride-regaining diuretic: short- and long-term effects, and its pharmacologic role under the ‘chloride theory’ for heart failure pathophysiology

  • Hajime KataokaEmail author
Original Article


According to the “chloride theory” for heart failure (HF) pathophysiology, manipulation of the serum chloride concentration is an important therapeutic target. This study determined the short- and long-term effects of acetazolamide (Diamox), a potential chloride-regaining diuretic, on peripheral blood, serum electrolytes, and renal function. Effects of low-dose Diamox (250–500 mg/day) were evaluated in 30 HF patients for whom Diamox was added as de-novo/add-on decongestion therapy for acutely worsening HF (n = 18) or as modification therapy for serum hypochloremia in stable HF ( < 100 mEq/L; n = 12). Peripheral hematologic tests were performed at baseline, and at short- ( ≤ 10 days) and long-term ( ~ 60 days) time-points. In all 30 study patients of both groups, the serum chloride concentration increased in the short-term and even further over the long-term. The serum potassium concentration constantly decreased throughout the study period. Both the blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine concentrations increased in the short-term, but returned to baseline levels over the long-term. Responders to Diamox (n = 13; defined by HF resolution and body weight loss ≥ 1 kg) in the decongestion group exhibited reduced serum b-type natriuretic peptide levels and a markedly increased serum chloride concentration, but the hemoglobin/hematocrit and serum creatinine concentrations did not change after treatment. In conclusion, acetazolamide is a potent candidate “chloride-regaining diuretic” for treating HF patients under the “chloride theory”. Its effect to enhance the serum chloride concentration occurred within 10 days and persisted for at least ~ 60 days. Plasma volume and renal function were preserved under adequate diuretic treatment with acetazolamide.


Heart failure Chloride Diuretics Acetazolamide Diamox Electrolyte 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Internal MedicineNishida HospitalSaikiJapan

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