Article

Levosimendan for the treatment of acute severe heart failure: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Intensive Care Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, Pacific Highway, St. Leonards, NSW, 2065, Australia.
International journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 6.18). 10/2008; 138(3):281-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2008.08.020
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to critically review the literature to evaluate whether levosimendan compared to standard therapy, in patients with acute severe heart failure, is associated with improved clinical outcomes.
Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane central register of clinical trials were searched. We also searched clinical trials registries, bibliographies of included studies and review articles and contacted the manufacturers of levosimendan to identify unpublished studies. Randomised clinical trials comparing levosimendan to standard therapy or placebo, in adult patients with acute severe heart failure, reporting at least one outcome of interest were included. Data were extracted regarding the characteristics, methodological quality and clinical outcomes, and combined using a fixed-effect meta-analysis.
We identified 19 RCTs enrolling 3650 patients, only two studies fulfilled all of the validity criteria. There was a non-significant reduction in mortality with levosimendan compared with placebo (OR 0.83, 95%CI, 0.62-1.10, p=0.20). Levosimendan was associated with reduced mortality compared to dobutamine (OR 0.75, 95%CI, 0.61-0.92, p=0.005). Levosimendan was associated with improvements in haemodynamic parameters when compared to either placebo or dobutamine.
Levosimendan improved haemodynamic parameters when compared with placebo, without showing evidence of survival benefit. Levosimendan improved both haemodynamics and survival when compared with dobutamine.

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