Background: Studies addressing the effect of nesiritide on renal function in patients hospitalized for decompensated heart failure (HF) are limited, with conflicting results. Aim: To study the effect of nesiritide on renal function in patients admitted for acute decompensated HF. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed charts of patients admitted with decompensated HF, comparing those who received nesiritide along with conventional therapy vs. those who received conventional therapy alone. Serum creatinine levels and body weight were measured on admission, and were compared with levels at day 3 to estimate deterioration in renal function. Worsening renal function (WRF) was defined as a rise in serum creatinine of ≥0.3 mg/dl from baseline, with final creatinine level ≥1.5 mg/dl. Results: We reviewed 206 charts (116 controls, 90 nesiritide group). WRF developed in 28/90 (31.1%) in the nesiritide group and 37/116 (31.9%) controls (p = 1.0). Mean change in creatinine in the nesiritide group was 0.15 ± 0.37 mg/dl, compared to 0.17 ± 0.25 mg/dl in controls (p = 0.75). Using an alternative cut-off increase in serum creatinine of ≥0.5 mg/dl, 16/90 (17.7%) patients in the nesiritide group developed WRF compared to 18/116 (15.55%) controls (p = 0.80). If WRF was defined as elevation in serum creatinine levels by ≥0.3 mg/dl anytime during hospitalization, the incidence of WRF in the nesiritide group remained similar to that of controls (42.2% vs. 41.35%, p = 0.90). On multivariate analysis, nesiritide therapy was not associated with WRF (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4-1.6, p = 0.48). Discussion: We failed to detect any significant risk of WRF in patients treated with nesiritide compared to conventional therapy in patients with decompensated HF during index hospitalization. Larger randomized, placebo-controlled trials are required to further elucidate the effect of nesiritide on renal function in these patients.
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