Intermittent Levosimendan Infusions in Advanced Heart Failure: Favourable Effects on Left Ventricular Function, Neurohormonal Balance, and One-Year Survival


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Abstract

The role of repeated infusions of Levosimendan (LEVO) in patients with chronic advanced heart failure is still unclear. Thirty-three patients with chronic heart failure presenting clinical deterioration were randomized 2:1 to receive monthly infusions of LEVO (n = 22) or Furosemide (Controls, n = 11). At the first drug's administration, noninvasive hemodynamic evaluation was performed; before and after each infusion, we assessed NYHA class, systolic and diastolic function, functional mitral regurgitation, and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels. Noninvasive hemodynamic in the LEVO group showed vasodilation and decrease in thoracic conductance (index of pulmonary congestion), whereas in Controls, only a reduced thoracic conductance was observed. In the LEVO group, systolic and diastolic function, ventricular volumes, severity of mitral regurgitation, and BNP levels improved over time from baseline and persisted 4 weeks after the last infusion (P < 0.01). In Controls, no change developed over time in cardiac function and BNP levels. In LEVO-treated patients, 1-year mortality tended to be lower than in those treated with Furosemide. In conclusion, serial LEVO infusions in advanced heart failure improved ventricular performance and favorably modulated neurohormonal activation. Multicenter randomized studies are warranted to test the effect of LEVO on long-term outcome.

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