Loop diuretics are essential in the treatment of patients with heart failure (HF) who develop congestion. Furosemide is the most commonly used diuretic; however, some randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown varying results associated with torsemide and furosemide in terms of hospitalizations and mortality. We performed an updated meta-analysis of currently available RCTs comparing furosemide and torsemide to see if there is any difference in clinical outcomes in patients treated with these loop diuretics. PubMed, MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Embase databases were searched for RCTs comparing the outcomes in patients with HF treated with furosemide versus torsemide. The primary end points included all-cause mortality, all-cause hospitalizations, cardiovascular-related hospitalizations, and HF-related hospitalizations. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed to estimate the risk ratio (RR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). A total of 10 RCTs with 4,127 patients (2,088 in the furosemide group and 2,039 in the torsemide group) were included in this analysis. A total of 56% of the patients were men and the mean age was 68 years. No significant difference was noted in all-cause mortality between the furosemide and torsemide groups (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.15, p = 0.70); however, patients treated with furosemide compared with torsemide had higher risks of cardiovascular hospitalizations (RR 1.36, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.65, p = 0.001), HF-related hospitalizations (RR 1.65, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.24, p = 0.001), and all-cause hospitalizations (RR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.11, p = 0.02). In conclusion, patients with HF treated with torsemide have a reduced risk of hospitalizations compared with those treated with furosemide, without any difference in mortality. These data indicate that torsemide may be a better choice to treat patients with HF.
The study compared 2 loop diuretics with marginal differences in outcome, as may be expected.
Very important article highlighting subtle differences between torsemide and furosemide. Given that there is no change in mortality, there is no urgent need for a drastic change in practice. Given the benefits and cost savings from reduced hospitalizations, however, a practice change should be considered, especially if torsemide is also a formulary medication.
The costs of torasemide are higher and generally in low-income countries. It is not included in the basic drug list of social or public systems.