Korean J Hepatol > Volume 9(4); 2003 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2003;9(4): 324-331.
The Significance of Urine Sodium Measurement after Furosemide Administration in Diuretics-unresponsive Patients with Liver Cirrhosis
Hyun Seok Cho, M.D., Geun Tae Park, M.D., Young Hoon Kim, M.D., Sung Gon Shim, M.D., Jin Bae Kim, M.D., Oh Young Lee, M.D., Ho Soon Choi, M.D., Joon Soo Hahm, M.D. and Min Ho Lee, M.D.
Research Institute of Digestive Disease, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

The diagnosis of refractory ascites means a poor prognosis for patients with liver cirrhosis. The definition of refractory ascites has already been established, but using the dosage of diuretics that correlates with the definition of refractory ascites in an out-patient department will lower the compliance of the patient, as well as causing serious complications, such as hepatic encephalopathy and hyponatremia, as the dosage of diuretics is increased. Due to this fact, it is very difficult to apply this definition of refractory ascites to patients in a domestic out-patient department. In this study, in situations where there are difficulties in applying the diuretics dosage according to definition of refractory ascites, we tried to find out whether measuring the value of urine sodium after the administration of intravenous furosemide can be the standard in early differentiation of the response to diuretics treatment.
We reviewed 16 cases of liver cirrhosis with ascites and classified them into two groups by the response to diuretics. The diuretics-responsive ascites group was 8 cases and the diuretics-unresponsive ascites group consisted of 8 cases. After admission, we examined the patients’ CBC, biochemical liver function test, spot urine sodium, and 24 hour creatinine clearance. After the beginning of the experiment, all diuretic therapy was stopped for 3 days. Daily we examined the patients’ CBC, biochemical liver function test, and in the 3rd experiment day, we measured 24-hour urine volume and sodium. In the 4th experiment day, after sampling for ADH, plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone level, we administrated the furosemide 80 mg I.V, and measured the amount of 8 hour urine volume and sodium.
The plasma aldosterone level was significantly higher in the diuretics- unresponsive ascites group than in the diuretics-responsive ascites group. In the 4th experiment day, the amount of urine volume and sodium was very significantly lower in the diuretics-unresponsive ascites group than in the diuretics-responsive ascites group (1297.5±80.9 vs 2003.7±114.6 ml, p<0.005, 77.3±8.2 vs 211.8±12.6 mEq, p<0.001).
In out-patient departments, the measurement of urine sodium 8 hours after administrating 80 mg of intravenous furosemide, will help in differentiating ascites patients with lower treatment response to diuretics.(Korean J Hepatol 2003;9:324-331)
KeyWords: Ascites, Furosemide, Liver cirrhosis

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