Effects of limiting fluid intake on clinical and laboratory outcomes in patients with heart failure. Results of a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Herz. 2016 Feb; 41(1):63-75.HERZ
The guidelines of the Scientific Societies of Cardiology recommend limiting fluid intake as a nonpharmacological measure for the management of chronic heart failure (HF). However, many patients with HF may suffer from severe thirst. A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of limiting fluid consumption based on various clinical and laboratory outcomes in patients with chronic HF.
Only randomized controlled trials comparing liberal and restricted fluid oral intake in patients with HF were included. Primary outcomes were HF hospitalizations and all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes were the sensation of thirst, the duration of therapy with intravenous diuretics, and the serum levels of creatinine, sodium, and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP).
Six studies met the inclusion criteria. Significant heterogeneity was detected for the majority of outcomes. In 5 studies, patients with restricted fluid intake compared to patients with free consumption of beverages had similar rehospitalization and mortality rates. There were no differences regarding patients' sense of thirst (4 studies), duration of intravenous diuretic treatment (2 studies), serum creatinine levels (5 studies), and serum sodium levels (5 studies). Serum BNP levels were significantly higher in the group with free fluid intake (4 studies).
In patients with HF, liberal fluid consumption does not seem to exert an unfavorable impact on HF rehospitalizations or all-cause mortality. Further randomized controlled trials are warranted to definitively confirm the present findings.