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Levosimendan in patients with cardiogenic shock undergoing surgical revascularization: a case series

Andreas Lehmann, Johannes Lang, Joachim Boldt, Frank Isgro, Arndt Holger Kiessling

Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(8): MT89-93

ID: 11735

Background:Levosimendan is a new calcium sensitizer, which enhances myocardial contractility while simultaneously having vasodilatory and cardioprotective effects. These properties could be advantageous in patients with myocardial ischemia requiring inotropic support.Material/Methods: 10 patients with acute myocardial ischemia, cardiogenic shock, and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation undergoing emergency surgical revascularization were treated with levosimendan (bolus 6 µg·kg[sup]–1[/sup], continuous infusion 0.2 µg·kg[sup]–1[/sup]·min–1) in addition to catecholamines.Results: All patients treated with levosimendan and catecholamines were weaned successfully from CPB on the 1[sup]st[/sup] attempt. All patients needed additional norepinephrine because of vasodilation. In 4 patients, levosimendan was stopped in the early postoperative period. 2 patients died, 8 patients survived without any multiorgan failure. Only 2 patients needed an additional intra-aortic balloon pump. In the surviving patients, postoperative ventilation lasted for 8–72 hours.Conclusions: Levosimendan may have exerted positive inotropic and cardioprotective effects in these high risk patients with acute myocardial ischemia. However, these preliminary results supporting the use of levosimendan as an inoprotective drug need to be confirmed by a large randomized prospective trial.

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