Levosimendan in Acute and Advanced Heart Failure: An Appraisal of the Clinical Database and Evaluation of Its Therapeutic Applications
The use of inotropes for correcting hemodynamic dysfunction in patients with congestive heart failure has been described over many decades. However, negative or insufficient data have been collected regarding the effects of cardiac glycosides, catecholamines, and phosphodiesterase inhibitors on quality of life and survival. More recently, the calcium sensitizer and potassium channel-opener levosimendan has been proposed as a safer inodilator than traditional agents in some heart failure settings, such as advanced heart failure. At the 2017 annual congress of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (Paris, April 30–May 2), a series of tutorials delivered by lecturers from 8 European countries examined how to use levosimendan safely and effectively in acute and advanced heart failure. The proceedings of those tutorials have been collated in this review to provide an expert perspective on the optimized use of levosimendan in those settings.