Ultrafiltration for heart failure

Record ID 32010001610
Authors' recommendations: One ultrafiltration device, the Aquadex FlexFlow system (CHF Solutions, Brooklyn Park MN) has been FDA approved for marketing in the US since December 2006 for temporary (up to eight hours) treatment of patients with fluid overload who have failed diuretic therapy and for extended (longer than eight hours) treatment of patients with fluid overload who have failed diuretic therapy and require hospitalization.FDA stipulates that treatment be administered by a health care provider under physician supervision and that both provider and physician have been trained in extracorporeal therapies. The FDA approval letter does not explicitly reference published studies, but it is reasonable to assume that FDA reviewers identified the same trials included by Colechin (2007; Appendix Table 1), with the exception of Costanzo (2007) (also in Appendix Table 1), which was published after the date of the FDA letter. Colechin (2007) thus remains the most recent and comprehensive systematic review of ultrafiltration for acute decompensated heart failure and provides the core evidence considered by TAP in the present review.TAP identified no recently published evidence to materially change NHS/CEP conclusions (Colechin, 2007):“CEP finds that ultrafiltration has significant potential to become a routine therapy for excess fluid removal in patients with congestive hear failure. However, further work is needed to establish the patient groups who would benefit most, the optimal rates of fluid removal, the conditions for termination of therapy, and the cost savings associated with long-term quality of life benefits.”These conclusions can be transferred to the US in 2008. Additional shortcomings of the available literature include:• Lack of blinding, which may be understandably difficult in the case of a bulky bedside device;• Lack of explicit power calculations and correspondingly small numbers of patients in clinical trials, which may reflect the relative lack of reliable estimates of clinically significant effects for ultrafiltration in available research on which such calculations would be based;• Lack of follow up beyond two to three months;• Reliance on intermediate or surrogate outcomes such as fluid volume removed or weight lost, rather than longer term outcomes such as quality of life or heart failure-specific mortality.• The device manufacturer is a significant presence in published and ongoing trials.Finally, the systematic reviews and assessments in Table 1 do not report significant adverse events or safety concerns, but studies may not have been adequately powered or followed patients for long enough to detect uncommon adverse events. Post-marketing surveillance for a device only available since late 2006 also may be inadequate to detecting uncommon or late adverse events.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2008
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Heart Failure
Organisation Name: VA Technology Assessment Program
Contact Address: Liz Adams, VA Technology Assessment Program, Office of Patient Care Services (11T), VA Boston Healthcare System Room 4D-142, 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130 USA Tel: +1 617 278 4469; Fax: +1 617 264 6587;
Contact Name: elizabeth.adams@med.va.gov
Contact Email: elizabeth.adams@med.va.gov
Copyright: VA Technology Assessment Program (VATAP)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.