Protocol-guided diuretic management: Comparison of furosemide by continuous infusion and intermittent bolus

Dan Schuller, John P. Lynch, Donna Fine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the safety and relative effectiveness of two diuretic protocols in the intensive care unit (ICU). Design: Prospective, randomized comparative study. Patients: Thirty-three cardiac and medical ICU patients with pulmonary edema or fluid overload for which aggressive diuresis was intended. Interventions: Enrolled patients were randomized to fluid management strategies combining fluid restriction and individually adjusted diuretic therapy by either continuous or bolus infusions of furosemide, titrated to achieve negative hourly fluid balance. Measurements and Main Results: Cumulative intake minus output (primary endpoint); change in serum creatinine, and length of ICU and hospital stay (secondary endpoints). Diuresis by either protocol was feasible, safe, and effective. The main outcome measures were not significantly different for either group managed with a standardized protocol. Conclusions: Protocol-guided diuretic management, with individualized titration of dosage to defined physiologic endpoints can be readily and safely implemented in the ICU. Both continuous and bolus diuretic regimens appear equally effective in achieving negative fluid balance. Larger studies with a randomized control arm are needed before these protocols can be recommended as routine practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1969-1975
Number of pages7
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1997


  • Diuretic management
  • Fluid management
  • Furosemide
  • Protocol-guided therapy
  • Pulmonary edema


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