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Serum potassium and clinical outcomes in the Eplerenone Post-Acute Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure Efficacy and Survival Study (EPHESUS).

Author(s): Pitt B, Bakris G, Ruilope LM, DiCarlo L, Mukherjee R, EPHESUS Investigators

Affiliation(s): University of Michigan Medical Center, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. bpitt@med.umich.edu

Publication date & source: 2008-10-14, Circulation., 118(16):1643-50. Epub 2008 Sep 29.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Aldosterone blockade is recommended for patients with congestive heart failure after acute myocardial infarction complicated by left ventricular systolic dysfunction; however, the perceived risk of hyperkalemia may limit implementation of this therapeutic approach. This subanalysis examined the relationship between eplerenone, serum potassium (K(+)), and clinical outcomes in the Eplerenone Post-Acute Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure Efficacy and Survival Study (EPHESUS). METHODS AND RESULTS: Hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure after acute myocardial infarction complicated by left ventricular systolic dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction < or =40%) treated with standard therapy were randomized 3 to 14 days after the acute myocardial infarction to additional treatment with eplerenone (25 to 50 mg/d; n=3319) or placebo (n=3313). Patients were excluded if baseline K(+) was >5.0 mEq/L or serum creatinine was >2.5 mg/dL. In patients receiving standard therapy, the addition of eplerenone resulted in a 4.4% absolute increase in the incidence of K(+) >5.5 mEq/L, a 1.6% increase of K(+) > or =6.0 mEq/L, and a 4.7% absolute decrease in hypokalemia (K(+) <3.5 mEq/L). Four independent baseline predictors of hyperkalemia (defined as > or =6.0 mEq/L) were identified: potassium (K(+) greater than the median; 4.3 mEq/L), estimated glomerular filtration rate (< or =60 mL . min(-1) . 1.73 m(-2)), history of diabetes mellitus, and prior use of antiarrhythmic agents. None of these independent baseline risk factors significantly impacted the cardiovascular benefit of eplerenone for reducing all-cause mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Use of selective aldosterone blockade with eplerenone within the dose range of 25 to 50 mg/d in post-acute myocardial infarction patients with heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction who are treated with standard therapy improves outcomes without an excess of risk of hyperkalemia (> or =6.0 mEq/L) when periodic monitoring of serum K(+) is instituted.

Page last updated: 2008-11-03

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