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Herz. 2008 Jul;33(5):368-73. doi: 10.1007/s00059-008-3051-2. Epub 2008 Sep 5.

Safety and effectiveness of levosimendan in patients with predominant right heart failure.

Author information

1
Clinical Division of Cardiology, Clinical Department of Internal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria. gerhard.poelzl@uki.at

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Levosimendan is a new calcium sensitizer that enhances the contractile force of the myocardium and exhibits additional vasodilating properties. The present study describes the hemodynamic effects of levosimendan in patients with acute predominant right heart failure in need of inotropic therapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

18 patients (15 male, age 60 +/- 17 years) with acute heart failure, predominant right ventricular dysfunction, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < or = 30%, cardiac index (CI) < or = 2.5 l/min/m(2), right atrial pressure (RAP) > or = 10 mmHg, and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) > or = 15 mmHg were investigated. Following a loading dose, levosimendan was administered intravenously for 24 h.

RESULTS:

After 24 h, CI and left ventricular stroke work index increased from 1.7 +/- 0.4 to 2.3 +/- 0.6 l/min/m(2) (p < 0.001) and 14 +/- 6 to 17.3 +/- 8 g-m/m(2)/beat (p < 0.05), respectively. PCWP and systemic vascular resistance decreased from 25 +/- 7 to 21 +/- 5 mmHg (p < 0.01) and 1,724 +/- 680 to 1,096 +/- 312 dyne * s * cm(-5) (p < 0.0001), respectively. RAP was reduced from 15 +/- 5 to 10 +/- 3 mmHg (p < 0.001), whereas decreases in mean pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance were not significant. Right ventricular stroke work index (RVSWI) increased from 4.8 +/- 1.8 to 7.6 +/- 3.4 g-m/m(2)/beat (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION:

Levosimendan therapy is feasible and improves hemodynamics in patients with acute predominant right heart failure. Augmentation in RVSWI indicates an increase in right ventricular contractility rather than reduction in afterload as a possible pathophysiological mechanism.

PMID:
18773157
DOI:
10.1007/s00059-008-3051-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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