Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Apr;42(4):204-11.

Hemodynamic effects of levosimendan in patients with low-output heart failure after cardiac surgery.

Author information

Department of Cardiac Anesthesia and Postoperative Intensive Care, Casa di Cura Santa Maria, Bari, Italy.


Following cardiac surgery, low-output syndrome is relatively common. Since this condition can lead to serious consequences, this postsurgical, low-output state should be reversed whenever possible. Patients with low-output syndrome need drug and fluid management aimed at enhancing cardiac contractility and at facilitating optimal myocardial loading. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate whether benefits of levosimendan, a new calcium-sensitizing agent approved for treatment of patients with acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure, could be extended to patients with low-output syndrome following cardiac surgery. For this study, each patient was given levosimendan as a loading dose of 12 microg/kg over 10 minutes, followed by a continuous infusion of 0.1 microg/kg/min for 12 hours. Of 11 postsurgical patients with severely impaired cardiac output and hemodynamic compromise, 8 patients (73%) showed evidence of combined hemodynamic improvement (> 30% increase in cardiac index and PCWP corrected to < 18 mmHg) within 3 h after the start of levosimendan infusion. Specifically, cardiac index and stroke volume were significantly increased, while mean arterial pressure, indexed systemic vascular resistance, mean pulmonary pressure, right arterial pressure, and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure were all significantly lowered. Taken together, such changes showed enhanced cardiac output along with significantly decreased preload and afterload--conditions associated with recovery of cardiac function. Levosimendan is thus highly favorable for short-term treatment of patients with low cardiac output following cardiac surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center