Torres-Courchoud I, Chen HH.; Curr Opin Crit Care. 2014 Oct;20(5):467-71.

Purpose of review: Acute heart failure (AHF) is a major health problem worldwide, with no proven therapy. Low-dose dopamine has been used in this entity to improve renal outcomes in the past decades. The aim of this article is to review the former and recent clinical trials about the use of low-dose dopamine in AHF.

Recent findings: The Dopamine in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure II study enrolled 161 patients with AHF and found no improvement in clinical outcomes with the addition of dopamine. Similarly, the Renal Optimization Strategies Evaluation in Acute Heart Failure trial, which included 360 patients with AHF and renal dysfunction, evaluated the efficacy of 72-h infusion of either low-dose nesiritide or low-dose dopamine versus placebo in addition to standardized diuretic treatment. No differences were found between both treatment groups and placebo with regard to the coprimary endpoints of cumulative urine volume and change from baseline in plasma cystatin C.

Summary: On the basis of the current data, there is no role for the routine use of low-dose dopamine in nonhypotensive patients with AHF. Further studies are needed to define the role of low-dose dopamine in patients with AHF and hypotension. Until the availability of more data, the use of dopamine in AHF should be individualized.

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