Home Therapies in Advanced Heart Failure: Inotropes and Diuretics

Academic Article


  • Purpose of Review: Heart failure (HF) is a significant cause of morbidity, mortality, and decreased quality of life (QOL). Symptoms, including reduced activity tolerance, fatigue, palpitations, and dyspnea, result from volume overload or low output states. Herein, we review the best available literature supporting diuretic and inotropic therapies in advanced HF and how these improve QOL. Recent Findings: While diuretics and inotropes reduce symptoms and hospitalizations in advanced HF, there is an increased risk of harms with both modalities. While diuretic complications include electrolyte and renal function abnormalities, adverse event data with inotropes is more complex and includes possible arrhythmias and death. Further, inotrope utilization is complicated by required intravenous access, infusion costs, and limited outpatient support. Summary: Ambulatory use of diuretics and inotropes may improve patients’ QOL through symptom management and reduced hospitalizations. However, risks and limitations of both modalities must be considered as treatment decisions are made.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16298663
  • Author List

  • Graffagnino JP; Avant LC; Calkins BC; Swetz KM
  • Start Page

  • 314
  • End Page

  • 323
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 5