Lege Artis Medicinae

[DIURETICS IN CARDIOLOGY: PRESCRIBE OR USE?]

NAGY Viktor

FEBRUARY 22, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(02)

[Diuretics are essential therapeutic tools. They effectively reduce blood pressure and have been shown in numerous hypertension clinical trials to reduce both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality. In addition, they are important components of the treatment of heart failure with apparent signs of congestion. While thiazides are recommended in mild forms, loop diuretics are used in the severe stages of congestive heart failure. Loop diuretics and thiazides often induce hypokalaemia, which has been demonstrated to be not as benign as thought before. Diuretic-induced hypokalaemia seems to be aldosterone dependent. Aldosterone levels increase during diuretic therapy. Aldosterone antagonists are unique among diuretics in that they improve survival of patients with heart failure independent of their effect on sodium metabolism. Because of this, diuretic treatment lives its renaissance in cardiology.]

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