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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2003 April;69(4):258-63


language: English

Levosimendan compared with dobutamine in low output patients

Nieminen M. S.

Division of Cardiology University Central Hospital Helsinki, Finland


There are 2 studies which have investigated the hemodynamic efficacy of levosimendan compared to dobutamine in congestive heart failure patients. The first is a dose finding comparative 24-h infusion trial which included 95 NYHA II-III patients to different doses of levosimendan and 20 patients to dobutamine administered as a continuous, open-label infusion of 6 µg/kg/min.
Efficacy and safety of levosimendan in severe low-output heart failure – a randomized, double-blind comparison to dobutamine study compared the short- and long-term efficacy and safety of a single 24-hour infusion of levosimendan (n=103) with dobutamine (n=100) in hospitalised patients in acute heart failure. This double-blind, parallel-group, randomised trial showed that, irrespective of the aetiology of the heart failure, levosimendan produced significantly greater improvement in major determinants of cardiac function in heart failure patients compared to dobutamine.
Levosimendan produced significantly greater haemodynamic improvements than dobutamine by significantly reduced mortality at 31 days compared with dobutamine; this reduction was maintained at 180 days. Levosimendan significantly increased the number of days alive and out of hospital, compared with dobutamine. It was better tolerated than dobutamine and fewer patients receiving levosimendan experienced arrhythmias and myocardial ischaemia, compared with dobutamine. Levosimendan produced haemodynamic responses that were unaffected by concomitant use of beta blockers.

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