Impact of sodium zirconium cyclosilicate therapy cessation in patients with systolic heart failure


Advocate Christ Medical Center


Background: Sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (SZC), a newly introduced potassium binder, is indicated for treating hyperkalemia. SZC-incorporated up-titration of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists has been recommended for those with systolic heart failure, whereas SZC is often terminated following the improvement of hyperkalemia in real-world practice. We aimed to investigate the impact of SZC cessation on the recurrence of hyperkalemia.

Methods: Patients with systolic heart failure, in whom SZC was discontinued following improvement in hyperkalemia, were studied and compared to those who had continued SZC. All patients were followed for one year or until August 2022. The recurrent rates of hyperkalemia were compared between the two groups.

Results: A total of 30 patients (median age 83 years, 53% men, median left ventricular ejection fraction 42%) were included. The one-year cumulative incidence of recurrent hyperkalemia was 93% in the group who discontinued SZC versus 22% in those who continued SZC (p = 0.032). In the group where SZC was withdrawn, doses of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists were less up-titrated, echocardiographic evidence of reverse remodeling occurred less, and readmission due to worsening heart failure tended to be higher compared to those who remained on SZC therapy.

Conclusions: SZC cessation was associated with recurrent hyperkalemia and suboptimal medical therapy optimization compared to continuation of SZC therapy.

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