Journal Article

Renal effects of treatment with diuretics, octreotide or both, in non-azotemic cirrhotic patients with ascites

Georgios Kalambokis, Michalis Economou, Andreas Fotopoulos, Jihad Al Bokharhii, Afroditi Katsaraki and Epameinondas V. Tsianos

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 20, issue 8, pages 1623-1629
Published in print August 2005 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Renal effects of treatment with diuretics, octreotide or both, in non-azotemic cirrhotic patients with ascites

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Background. Diuretic-induced hyperreninaemia is associated with renal dysfunction in cirrhotic patients with ascites, and in turn prevents the use of high doses of diuretics. Furthermore, ample evidence suggests that octreotide can inhibit the activation of the renin–aldosterone axis. The present study investigated the renal effects of the addition of octreotide to furosemide and spironolactone in the treatment of non-azotemic cirrhotic patients with ascites.

Methods. We studied 20 patients treated with furosemide and spironolactone. Of them, 10 (Group 1) discontinued diuretic treatment for 7 days. Thereafter, for 5 days each patient received subcutaneous octreotide 300 µg b.i.d., in 10 patients (Group 2) in addition to their usual diuretics. We collected data on the patients while they received diuretics (both groups), after discontinuation of diuretics (Group 1), and after octreotide administration (both groups).

Results. We observed a trend to increase creatinine clearance and a significant reduction in plasma active renin and plasma aldosterone after the discontinuation of diuretics. The subsequent introduction of octreotide reduced glomerular filtration rate, although it significantly decreased plasma active renin and plasma aldosterone. In contrast, the addition of octreotide to diuretic treatment significantly increased glomerular filtration rate, urine volume and sodium excretion. The magnitudes of the decreases in plasma-active renin and aldosterone produced by the combination of octreotide and diuretics were similar to those produced by octreotide alone or by the discontinuation of diuretics.

Conclusions. Octreotide alone does not improve renal function in cirrhotic patients with ascites. On the contrary, adding it to diuretic treatment increases glomerular filtration rate and sodium and water excretion, mainly through the suppression of an activated renin–aldosterone axis.

Keywords: ascites; cirrhosis; diuretic treatment; octreotide; renal function

Journal Article.  4092 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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