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Christian Alcaraz Frederiksen

Effects of levosimendan in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy undergoing aortic valve replacement

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BACKGROUND: Left ventricular hypertrophy is associated with adverse outcomes, including death, during cardiac surgery. This may be facilitated by an increased oxygen demand and diastolic dysfunction. Levosimendan augments haemodynamics without further oxygen consumption and improves echocardiographic indices of diastolic dysfunction. This study aimed to describe the haemodynamic effects of short-term pre- and intra-operative levosimendan infusion including advanced echocardiographic measures of diastolic and systolic heart function.

METHODS: The study was randomised, double-blinded and placebo-controlled performed at a single-centre university hospital. Patients with left ventricular hypertrophy and ejection fraction > 45% scheduled for single procedure aortic valve replacement were included and randomised to infusion of either levosimendan 0.1 μg/kg/min or placebo from 4 h before anaesthesia to the end of surgery. Outcome measures were echocardiographic indices of left ventricular diastolic function: E/e' (primary endpoint), e', e'/a' and indices of systolic function: longitudinal strain, ejection fraction and s'. Patients were followed until 6 months after surgery. In addition, invasive haemodynamic measures were obtained perioperatively.

RESULTS: The trial was prematurely terminated due to an overall high incidence of post-operative atrial fibrillation (15/20, P = 0.002) after inclusion of 20 patients. The relative decrease in perioperative cardiac index was lower (P = 0.016) in the levosimendan group. There was no difference in E/e', and similar results were found for all measures of systolic function.

CONCLUSION: Short-term levosimendan caused a transient relative increase in cardiac index, but no effect was seen on the first post-operative day and up to 6 months post-operatively with indices of systolic and diastolic heart function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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