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BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend targeting decongestion in management of decompensated HF, with lower extremity edema often serving as the clinical target. LECW are seldom used in the acute setting, with a paucity of data on efficacy in HF, despite serving as a cornerstone of chronic lymphedema management.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Study the efficacy and safety of LECW in acute decompensated HF.

METHODS: Open-label, randomized, parallel-group clinical trial.

PRIMARY OUTCOMES: Days on intravenous (IV) diuretic therapy, total hospital length of stay (LOS), and 30-day all-cause readmission.

RESULTS: 32 patients were enrolled, with 29 patients completing the study. Enrollment was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall LOS was shorter in the intervention group (3.5 vs 6 days, p = 0.05), with no significant difference in total days on IV diuresis or 30-day readmission rate with use of LECW. Fewer patients required continuous diuretic infusion after treatment with LECW (0 vs 7 patients, p = 0.027). The intervention group scored significantly better on the MLWHF (55.5 vs 65, p = 0.021), including both the physical and emotional dimension scores. No adverse events were reported with use of LECW, including a significantly lower incidence of AKI (1 vs 13 patients, p = 0.005).

CONCLUSION: The use of LECW resulted in reduced hospital LOS compared to standard therapy, with no difference in days of IV diuresis administration or 30-day readmission. Treatment with LECW also resulted in less continuous IV diuretic therapy, fewer incidence of AKI, and improved quality of life. Trends toward less escalation of diuresis, and greater reduction in edema were also observed.

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