Send to

Choose Destination
Transplant Proc. 2011 Jul-Aug;43(6):2260-2. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2011.05.021.

Levosimendan for primary graft failure after heart transplantation: a 3-year follow-up.

Author information

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.



Primary graft failure (PGF) is a severe complication responsible for 42% of the in-hospital mortality after heart transplantation. It has been postulated that once 30-day survival is achieved, patients with PGF have no increased risk of death. Levosimendan increases the 30-day survival among patients with PGF. Herein we have reported a 3-year follow-up at a single center of a patient cohort including PGF cases treated with levosimendan.


From September 2005 to December 2006 53 patients underwent heart transplantation at our institution, including 12 patients (22.6%) who presented with PGF and were treated with levosimendan using a 24-hour continuous infusion (0.10 μg/kg/min). Risk factors for 1-year and three-year mortality were analyzed using 30-day as well as 1 and 3-year survivals comparing patients with versus without PGF (n = 41).


There were no significant differences in donor age, weight, height, and serum sodium between the groups. However, the ischemia time (259 ± 53 vs 227 ± 50 min; P = .06) and recipient age (51.6 ± 15 vs 41.5 ± 21 years; P = .07) were greater among the PGF patients. The 30-day survival rate was 92% in both groups. After 1 and 3 years, the survival rate was significantly lower among the PGF cohort (50% vs 80.6% and 41.7% vs 80.6%; P < .05) with 86.5% of PGF patients succunding due to non cardiac reasons, predominantly infections.


Although treatment of PGF with levosimendan increased the 30-day survival, the 1 year and 3-year rates were reduced among this cohort of patients. PGF was associated with poor long-term outcomes, which may be a consequence of systemic malperfusion during the stage of cardiac low-output after transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center