Levosimendan in Critical Illness: A Literature Review

Journal of Clinical Medicine Research 04/2014; 6(2):75-85. DOI: 10.14740/jocmr1702w
Source: PubMed


Levosimendan, the active enantiomer of simendan, is a calcium sensitizer developed for treatment of decompensated heart failure, exerts its effects independently of the beta adrenergic receptor and seems beneficial in cases of severe, intractable heart failure. Levosimendan is usually administered as 24-h infusion, with or without a loading dose, but dosing needs adjustment in patients with severe liver or renal dysfunction. Despite several promising reports, the role of levosimendan in critical illness has not been thoroughly evaluated. Available evidence suggests that levosimendan is a safe treatment option in critically ill patients and may reduce mortality from cardiac failure. However, data from well-designed randomized controlled trials in critically ill patients are needed to validate or refute these preliminary conclusions. This literature review is an attempt to synthesize available evidence on the role and possible benefits of levosimendan in critically ill patients with severe heart failure.

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Available from: Charalampos Pierrakos, Mar 11, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionLevosimendan is implemented in patients with low cardiac output after cardiac surgery. However, the strength of evidence is limited by randomized controlled trials enrolling a small number of patients. Hence we have conducted a systematic review to determine the role of levosimendan in adult cardiac surgery. MethodsPUBMED, WoS, Cochrane database, and SCOPUS were systematically queried to identify original English language peer-reviewed literature (inception-October 2014) comparing clinical results of adult cardiac surgery between levosimendan and control. Pooled odds ratio (OR) was calculated using the Peto method; p<0.05 is significant; results are presented within 95% confidence intervals. Continuous data was compared using standardized mean difference/mean difference. ResultsFourteen studies were included in the analysis. Levosimendan reduced early mortality in patients with reduced ejection fraction (5.5% vs. 9.1%) (OR 0.48 [0.23-0.76]; p=0.004). This result was confirmed using sensitivity analysis. Postoperative acute renal failure was lower with levosimendan therapy (7.4% vs. 11.5%). Intensive care unit stay was shorter in the levosimendan cohort comparable in both groups (standardized mean difference -0.31 [-0.53, -0.09]; p=0.006; I-2=33.6%). Levosimendan-treated patients stayed 1.01 (1.61-0.42) days shorter when compared to control (p=0.001). Conclusion Our meta-analysis demonstrates that Levosimendan improves clinical outcomes in patients with left ventricular dysfunction undergoing cardiac surgery. Results of the ongoing multicenter randomized controlled trial are awaited to provide more conclusive evidence regarding the benefit of this drug. doi: 10.1111/jocs.12562 (J Card Surg 2015;30:547-554)
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Cardiac Surgery