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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2014 Jan;14(1):109-14. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12067. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Effect of pimobendan in addition to standard therapy for heart failure on prevention of readmission in elderly patients with severe chronic heart failure.

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Department of Cardiology, Nagasaki Rosai Hospital, Sasebo, Japan; Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.



We evaluated the effect of pimobendan, a positive inotropic agent, in elderly patients with frequent readmission as a result of heart failure despite conventional therapy.


Pimobendan was given to five male patients with severe chronic heart failure (New York Heart Association class III-IV) (age range 69-89 years; mean 78 ± 8 years; ischemic cardiomyopathy in three cases, dilated cardiomyopathy in two cases) who required repeated admission for heart failure despite conventional therapy with angiotensin inhibitors, beta-blockers, diuretics and anti-arrhythmic agents. After the addition of pimobendan at a dose of 1.25-3.75 mg/day, we evaluated serum levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), septal e' and left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVDD) by echocardiography, as well as readmission rates for more than 2 years.


The serum level of BNP significantly decreased after treatment with pimobendan, although its level returned to pretreatment levels after 2 years. LVEF significantly improved after the treatment, with the improvement continuing beyond the 2 years, although LVDD did not change after treatment. Septal e' significantly improved after the treatment, although its level returned to pretreatment levels at 2 years after the treatment. Readmission rates significantly decreased for 2 years after the treatment, although one patient required cardiac resynchronization therapy for severe heart failure, and another patient required cardiac pacemaker implantation for sick sinus syndrome 2 years after adding pimobendan.


Pimobendan in conjunction with conventional therapy for heart failure decreases the readmission rate in elderly patients with severe heart failure for at least 2 years.


calcium sensitizer; cyclic adenosine monophosphate; heart failure; inotropic agent; treatment

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