Heart Failure Network (HFN) Diuretic Optimization Strategies Evaluation in Acute Heart Failure (DOSE AHF)

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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
February 2008 – February 2010

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
April 30, 2020


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


The DOSE study sought to evaluate the most effective dosing (high vs. low) and administration (continuous infusion vs. intermittent boluses) combination of the diuretic Furosemide in the treatment of patients with acute decompensated heart failure.


Acute decompensated heart failure is the most common cause of hospital admissions among patients older than 65 years of age and is responsible for more than 1 million hospitalizations annually in the United States. Intravenous loop diuretics are an essential component of current treatment and are administered to approximately 90% of patients who are hospitalized with heart failure. Despite decades of clinical experience with these agents, prospective data to guide the use of loop diuretics are sparse, and current guidelines are based primarily on expert opinion. As a result, clinical practice varies widely with regard to both the mode of administration and the dosing.


A total of 308 patients were enrolled between March 2008 and November 2009 at 26 clinical sites in the United States and Canada. Patients were eligible for enrollment if they had presented within the previous 24 hours with acute decompensated heart failure. Additional eligibility criteria were a history of chronic heart failure and receipt of an oral loop diuretic for at least 1 month before hospitalization. Patients with systolic blood pressure of less than 90 mm Hg or a serum creatinine level that was greater than 3.0 mg per deciliter and patients requiring intravenous vasodilators or inotropic agents (other than digoxin) for heart failure were excluded.


The DOSE study was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial with a 2-by-2 factorial design. Patients were randomly assigned to either a low-dose strategy (total intravenous furosemide dose equal to their total daily oral loop diuretic dose in furosemide equivalents) or a high-dose strategy (total daily intravenous furosemide dose 2.5 times their total daily oral loop diuretic dose in furosemide equivalents) and to administration of furosemide either by intravenous bolus every 12 hours or by continuous intravenous infusion.

The study treatment, with group assignments concealed, was continued for up to 72 hours. At 48 hours, the treating physician had the option of adjusting the diuretic strategy on the basis of the clinical response. An assessment of biomarkers, including creatinine, cystatin C, and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, was performed at a central core laboratory at baseline, 72 hours, and 60 days. Patients were followed for clinical events to day 60.

The coprimary end points were patients' global assessment of symptoms, quantified as the area under the curve (AUC) of the score on a visual-analogue scale over the course of 72 hours, and the change in the serum creatinine level from baseline to 72 hours.


Among patients with acute decompensated heart failure, there were no significant differences in patients' global assessment of symptoms or in the change in renal function when diuretic therapy was administered by bolus as compared with continuous infusion or at a high dose as compared with a low dose. (N Engl J Med. Mar 3, 2011; 364(9): 797–805.)

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