Evidence-based use of levosimendan in different clinical settings

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Abstract

Levosimendan is a new calcium sensitizer and K-ATP channel opener. Compared with other inodilators, it improves myocardial contractility without increasing oxygen requirements and induces peripheral and coronary vasodilation with a potential anti-stunning, anti-ischaemic effect. The documentation regarding levosimendan is one of the largest ever on the safety and efficacy of a new pharmacological agent in acute heart failure syndromes. Recent experiences in small-scale studies and randomized clinical trials have led to greater interest in the use of this drug for the support of impaired cardiac function also in patients with ischaemic heart disease and cardiogenic or septic shock. It is also demonstrated that this drug could be used as bridge therapy for the peri-operative phase of cardiac surgery in both adult and paediatric populations. This review summarizes the evidence from published scientific literature regarding the use of levosimendan in various clinical settings.

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