Heart Failure Network (HFN) CARdiorenal REScue Study in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure (CARRESS)

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Accession Number

Study Type
Clinical Trial

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period
03/2008 – 06/2012

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
January 3, 2018


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


The CARRESS trial examined the effectiveness of ultrafiltration compared with a strategy of diuretic-based stepped pharmacologic therapy on renal function and weight loss in patients with heart failure who have worsening renal function and persistent congestion.


Acute cardiorenal syndrome is defined as worsening renal function in patients with acute decompensated heart failure. It occurs in 25 to 33% of patients and is associated with poor outcomes. Current heart failure treatments focus on removing excess fluid buildup, however administration of intravenous diuretics may contribute to worsening renal function. Venovenous ultrafiltration is one alternative therapy that may be effective in patients with acute decompensated heart failure complicated by acute cardiorenal syndrome and persistent congestion.


Patients 18 years or older that were hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure as the primary diagnosis were eligible for enrollment. Subjects also had worsened renal function within 12 weeks before or 10 days after admission. All subjects were required to have at least two of the following conditions at the time of randomization: at least 2+ peripheral edema, jugular venous pressure greater than 10 cm of water, or pulmonary edema or pleural effusion on chest radiography. A total of 188 patients were randomized.


Hospitalized subjects were randomly assigned to receive either ultrafiltration therapy or pharmacologic therapy. Ultrafiltration was performed at a fluid-removal rate of 200 ml per hour and loop diuretics were discontinued for the duration of the intervention. The addition of intravenous vasodilators or positive inotropic agents was prohibited unless they were deemed to be necessary as rescue therapy. Patients assigned to stepped pharmacologic therapy received intravenous diuretics to manage congestion and maintain a urine output of 3 to 5 liters per day. In both groups, the assigned treatment strategy was to be continued until the signs and symptoms of congestion in the patient were reduced as much as possible. The primary end points were baseline changes in serum creatinine and weight as assessed at 96 hours after treatment assignment.


The use of a stepped pharmacologic-therapy algorithm was superior to a strategy of ultrafiltration for the preservation of renal function, and there was a similar amount of weight loss between the two groups. Ultrafiltration was associated with a higher rate of adverse events (N Engl J Med. 2012 367:2296-2304).

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