What is the role of diuretics in the management of proteinuria?

Updated: Mar 25, 2020
  • Author: Beje Thomas, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Patients with moderate to severe proteinuria are usually fluid overloaded and require diuretic therapy along with dietary salt restriction. In spite of good kidney function, these patients may not respond to normal doses of diuretics and may require increased doses for the drug to be delivered to renal tubule.

If fluid overload becomes refractory to therapy with a single diuretic agent, a combination of diuretics acting at different sites of the nephron can be tried. If the edema is due to marked hypoalbuminemia, aggressive diuresis may put the patient at risk of acute renal failure due to intravascular volume depletion.

The routine use of albumin infusion combined with diuretics is not advocated in patients with nephrotic syndrome. Treatment with a loop diuretic or a combination of diuretics such as a thiazide and loop diuretic produces diuresis in most patients. The addition of albumin may improve natriuresis in patients with refractory salt and water retention, but the potential benefits must be weighed against the cost and risks of albumin infusion, which include the possibility of exacerbating fluid overload.

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