World J Crit Care Med. 2022 May 9;11(3):178-191. doi: 10.5492/wjccm.v11.i3.178. eCollection 2022 May 9.
BACKGROUND: In patients with respiratory failure, loop diuretics remain the cornerstone of the treatment to maintain fluid balance, but resistance is common.
AIM: To determine the efficacy and safety of common diuretic combinations in critically ill patients with respiratory failure.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library and PROSPERO for studies reporting the effects of a combination of a loop diuretic with another class of diuretic. A meta-analysis using mean differences (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was performed for the 24-h fluid balance (primary outcome) and the 24-h urine output, while descriptive statistics were used for safety events.
RESULTS: Nine studies totalling 440 patients from a total of 6510 citations were included. When compared to loop diuretics alone, the addition of a second diuretic is associated with an improved negative fluid balance at 24 h [MD: -1.06 L (95%CI: -1.46; -0.65)], driven by the combination of a thiazide plus furosemide [MD: -1.25 L (95%CI: -1.68; -0.82)], while no difference was observed with the combination of a loop-diuretic plus acetazolamide [MD: -0.40 L (95%CI: -0.96; 0.16)] or spironolactone [MD: -0.65 L (95%CI: -1.66; 0.36)]. Heterogeneity was high and the report of clinical and safety endpoints varied across studies.
CONCLUSION: Based on limited evidence, the addition of a second diuretic to a loop diuretic may promote diuresis and negative fluid balance in patients with respiratory failure, but only when using a thiazide. Further larger trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of such interventions in patients with respiratory failure are required.