Medical College of Wisconsin
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Levosimendan enhances cardiac performance after cardiopulmonary bypass: a prospective, randomized placebo-controlled trial. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 1999 Aug;34(2):219-28



Pubmed ID





Levosimendan is a new myofilament calcium (Ca2+) sensitizer that increases myocardial contractility by stabilizing the Ca2+-bound conformation of troponin C. We tested the hypothesis that levosimendan enhances cardiac performance after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Anesthesia was induced and maintained with midazolam, sufentanil, and vecuronium in 18 patients randomly assigned to receive levosimendan (18 or 36 microg/kg loading dose and 0.2 or 0.3 microg/kg/min infusion, respectively) or placebo 15 min before and continued for 6 h after CPB. Significant (p < 0.05) increases in heart rate (HR) and decreases in systemic vascular resistance (SVR) occurred 15 min after CPB in patients receiving placebo. Later increases in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and cardiac output (CO) and decreases in stroke volume (SV) and pulmonary vascular resistance also were observed. HR was greater in patients receiving high- but not low-dose levosimendan versus placebo immediately after CPB. MAP also was lower in patients treated with either dose of levosimendan compared with placebo after CPB. Levosimendan increased CO and decreased SVR (4.2 +/- 0.4 to 7.9 +/- 0.4 L/min and 1,150 +/- 99 to 512 +/- 42 dyn/s/cm5, respectively, 15 min after CPB; mean +/- SEM). CO and SV were higher and SVR was lower in patients receiving levosimendan versus placebo after CPB. No differences in arterial oxygenation and perioperative arrhythmias (Holter analysis) were observed between groups. The results indicate that levosimendan enhances cardiac performance after CPB in humans.

Author List

Nijhawan N, Nicolosi AC, Montgomery MW, Aggarwal A, Pagel PS, Warltier DC


Paul S. Pagel MD, PhD Professor in the Anesthesiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Cardiopulmonary Bypass
Cardiotonic Agents
Double-Blind Method
Middle Aged
Prospective Studies
Ventricular Function, Left
jenkins-FCD Prod-387 b0ced2662056320369de4e5cd5f21c218c03feb3