Lung ultrasound did not help emergency departments (EDs) manage acute heart failure patients in their initial hours of presenting with symptoms, according to the findings of a randomized pilot trial.
The trial, called BLUSHED-AHF, short for B-lines lung ultrasound guided ED management of acute heart failure, was a single-blind trial conducted at four EDs in the U.S. in 2017-2019. Lung ultrasound B-lines are markers of pulmonary congestion. The study involved 130 people who were randomized to either a lung ultrasound-guided treatment strategy or usual care for acute heart failure. And all participants had to have at least 15 B-lines at the time of trial enrollment.
Heart failure treatment targeting lung ultrasound guided B-lines left patients no less congested at six hours compared to usual care in the emergency department. And both groups shared similar B-line counts at 6 hours, average number of days alive and out of the hospital.
Researchers suggest that the search continues for a practical, noninvasive, objective, and reproducible approach that can guide in-hospital decongestive therapy for heart failure. The study, which published online in JACC: Heart Failure, was funded by NHLBI.