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

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Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Hajime Kataoka.

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Kataoka, H. Acetazolamide as a potent chloride-regaining diuretic: short- and long-term effects, and its pharmacologic role under the ‘chloride theory’ for heart failure pathophysiology. Heart Vessels 34, 1952–1960 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00380-019-01433-x

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Keywords

  • Heart failure
  • Chloride
  • Diuretics
  • Acetazolamide
  • Diamox
  • Electrolyte