Loop diuretic use is associated with skeletal muscle wasting in patients with heart failure

Ippei Nakano, Masaya Tsuda, Shintaro Kinugawa, Arata Fukushima, Naoya Kakutani, Shingo Takada, Takashi Yokota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Loop diuretics are widely used for the management of fluid retention in patients with heart failure (HF). Sarcopenia, defined as decreased skeletal muscle mass, is frequently present in patients with HF and is associated with poor prognosis. The effects of loop diuretics on skeletal muscle in HF patients have not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the impact of loop diuretics on the skeletal muscle mass in patients with HF. Methods: We conducted a subanalysis of a cross-sectional study from 10 hospitals evaluating 155 patients with HF (age 67 ± 13 yrs, 69% men). Results: We compared the HF patients who were treated with loop diuretics (n = 120) with the patients who were not (n = 35). The thigh and arm circumferences were significantly small in the group treated with loop diuretics compared to those not so treated (39.9 ± 4.8 vs. 43.5 ± 6.9 cm, p < 0.001 and 26.7 ± 3.5 vs. 28.9 ± 6.2 cm, p < 0.001, respectively). In a univariate analysis, higher age, lower body mass index, lower hemoglobin, and loop diuretic use were significantly associated with smaller thigh circumference. In a multivariable analysis, the use of loop diuretics was independently associated with smaller thigh circumference (β = −0.51, 95% confidence interval −0.98 to −0.046, p = 0.032). Conclusion: Loop diuretics are associated with decreased thigh and arm circumferences in patients with HF, independent of the severity of HF. Our findings revealed for the first time the adverse effects of loop diuretics on skeletal muscle wasting. These findings will have a significant impact in clinical practice regarding the frequent use of loop diuretics in HF patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-114
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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