Long-Term Effects of Dietary Sodium Intake on Cytokines and Neurohormonal Activation in Patients With Recently Compensated Congestive Heart Failure



      A growing body of evidence suggests that the fluid accumulation plays a key role in the pathophysiology of heart failure (HF) and that the inflammatory and neurohormonal activation contribute strongly to the progression of this disorder.

      Methods and Results

      The study evaluated the long-term effects of 2 different sodium diets on cytokines neurohormones, body hydration and clinical outcome in compensated HF outpatients (New York Heart Association Class II). A total of 173 patients (105 males, mean age 72.5±7) recently hospitalized for worsening advanced HF and discharged in normal hydration and in clinical compensation were randomized in 2 groups (double blind). In Group 1, 86 patients received a moderate restriction in sodium (120 mmol to 2.8 g/day) plus oral furosemide (125 to 250 mg bid); in Group 2, 87 patients: received a low-sodium diet (80 mmol to 1.8 g/day) plus oral furosemide (125 to 250 mg bid). Both groups were followed for 12 months and the treatment was associated with a drink intake of 1000 mL daily. Neurohormonal (brain natriuretic peptide, aldosterone, plasma rennin activity) and cytokines values (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6) were significantly reduced with a significant increase of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 at 12 months in normal, P < .0001) than low-sodium group. The low-sodium diet showed a significant activation of neurohormones and cytokines and worsening the body hydration, whereas moderate sodium restriction maintained dry weigh and improved outcome in the long term.


      Our results appear to suggest a surprising efficacy of a new strategy to improve the chronic diuretic response by increasing Na intake and limiting fluid intake. This counterintuitive approach underlines the need for a better understanding of factors that regulate sodium and water handling in chronic congestive HF. A larger sample of patients and further studies are required to evaluate whether this is due to the high dose of diuretic used or the low-sodium diet.

      Key Words

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      • Notice of Concern
        Journal of Cardiac FailureVol. 19Issue 7
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          Concern has been raised regarding a paper published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure: “Long-Term Effects of Dietary Sodium Intake on Cytokines and Neurohumoral Activation in Patients With Recently Compensated Heart Failure,” by Parrinello et al, J Card Fail 2009;15:864–73. The paper contains a dataset identical to that published by the same authors in Clinical Science 2008;114:221–30. The corresponding author, Dr di Pasquale of Palermo, Italy, has indicated that an error was made during a “cut and paste” process, and a table from the 2008 Clinical Science paper was mistakenly reproduced in the 2009 Journal of Cardiac Failure paper.
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