Clinical Investigation| Volume 365, ISSUE 4, P353-360, April 2023

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Comparative effectiveness and safety of bolus vs. continuous infusion of loop diuretics: Results from the MIMIC-III Database

Published:December 23, 2022DOI:



      It is unclear whether fluid management goals are best achieved by bolus injection or continuous infusion of loop diuretics. In this study, we compared the effectiveness and safety of a continuous infusion with that of a bolus injection when an increased loop diuretic dosage is required in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.


      We obtained data from the MIMIC-III database for patients who were first-time ICU admissions and required an increased diuretic dosage. Patients were excluded if they had an estimated glomerular filtration rate <15 ml/min/1.73 m2, were receiving renal replacement therapy, had a baseline systolic blood pressure <80 mmHg, or required a furosemide dose <120 mg. The patients were divided into a continuous group and a bolus group. Propensity score matching was used to balance patients’ background characteristics.


      The final dataset included 807 patients (continuous group, n = 409; bolus group, n = 398). After propensity score matching, there were 253 patients in the bolus group and 231 in the continuous group. The 24 h urine output per 40 mg of furosemide was significantly greater in the continuous group than in the bolus group (234.66 ml [95% confidence interval (CI) 152.13–317.18, p < 0.01]). There was no significant between-group difference in the incidence of acute kidney injury (odds ratio 0.96, 95% CI 0.66–1.41, p = 0.85).


      Our results indicate that a continuous infusion of loop diuretics may be more effective than a bolus injection and does not increase the risk of acute kidney injury in patients who need an increased diuretic dosage in the ICU.


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