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Effects of levosimendan/furosemide infusion on Plasma Brain Natriuretic Peptide, echocardiographic parameters and cardiac output in end-stage heart failure patients

Mauro Feola, Enrico Lombardo, Camillo Taglieri, Paola Vallauri, Salvatore Piccolo, Roberto Valle

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(3): PI7-13

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881433


Background:    Acute decompensation heart failure (ADHF) remains a cause of hospitalization in patients with end-stage congestive HF. The administration of levosimendan in comparison with a standard therapy in CHF patients admitted for ADHF was analysed.
    Material/Methods:    Consecutive patients admitted for ADHF (NYHA class III–IV) were treated with levosimendan infusion 0.1 µg/kg/min or with furosemide infusion 100–160 mg per day for 48 hours (control group). All subjects underwent determination of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), non-invasive cardiac output (CO), and echocardiogram at baseline, at the end of therapy and 1 week after therapy.
    Results:    Seven patients admitted for 20 treatments in 16 months (age 66 years; mean admission/year 5.4) were treated with levosimendan and compared with 7 patients admitted for 15 treatments (age 69.1 years; mean admission/year 6.1). At the end of levosimendan therapy, BNP decreased (from 679.7±512.1 pg/ml to 554.2±407.6 pg/ml p=0.03), and 6MWT and LVEF improved (from 217.6±97.7 m to 372.2±90.4 m p=0.0001; from 22.8±9.1% to 25.4±9.8% p=0.05). Deceleration time, E/A, E/E’, TAPSE, pulmonary pressure and CO did not change significantly after levosimendan therapy and after 1 week. At follow-up, only 6-min WT and NYHA class showed a significant improvement (p=0.0001, p=0.001 respectively). The furosemide infusion reduced NYHA class and body weight (from 3.4±0.6 to 2.3±0.5 p=0.001; from 77.5±8.6 kg to 76±6.6 kg p=0.04), but impaired renal function (clearances from 56.3±21.9 ml/min to 41.2±10.1 ml/min p=0.04).
    Conclusions:    Treating end-stage CHF patients with levosimendan improved BNP and LVEF, but this effect disappeared after 1 week. The amelioration of 6MWT and NYHA class lasted longer after levosimendan infusion.

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