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Short-term effects of levosimendan and prostaglandin E1 on hemodynamic parameters and B-type natriuretic peptide levels in patients with decompensated chronic heart failure.

Author(s): Moertl D, Berger R, Huelsmann M, Bojic A, Pacher R

Affiliation(s): Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. deddo_moertl@yahoo.de

Publication date & source: 2005-12, Eur J Heart Fail., 7(7):1156-63. Epub 2005 Aug 5.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Both levosimendan and prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) have beneficial effects on hemodynamic parameters and outcome compared to dobutamine in decompensated chronic heart failure (CHF). AIMS: We compared short-term effects of levosimendan versus PGE1 on hemodynamic parameters and B-type natriuretic peptide levels (BNP) in patients with decompensated CHF. METHODS AND RESULTS: 73 patients (cardiac index < 2.5 L/min/m2, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCP) >15 mmHg) with decompensated CHF were randomised to treatment with either a 24 h-infusion of levosimendan (n=38) or a chronic infusion of PGE1 (n = 35). Hemodynamic parameters and BNP were measured at baseline, 24 and 48 h, BNP levels were also measured after 1 week. Baseline characteristics including concomitant medication were similar in both groups. Levosimendan and PGE1 increased cardiac output (CO) after 24 and 48 h. Levosimendan increased CO twice as much as PGE1 (24 h: Levosimendan +1.1 +/- 0.1 L/min, PGE1 +0.6 +/- 0.1 L/min, p < 0.001). Both drugs produced a comparable reduction in PCP and pulmonary artery pressure after 24 and 48 h. Levosimendan decreased BNP by 28% after 24 h and 22% after 48 h, but effects disappeared after 1 week. In contrast, PGE1 decreased BNP by 15% after 48 h (no change at 24 h), but a decrease of 20% was sustained at 1 week. CONCLUSIONS: The differential beneficial effects of levosimendan (greater increase in CO) and PGE1 (sustained decrease in BNP) may have a potential impact on clinical outcome.

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