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[Efficacy and safety of intravenous levosimendan compared with dobutamine in decompensated heart failure].

Author(s): Wang L, Cui L, Wei JP, Li GP, Qi GX, Hao YM, Wang WZ, Li HM, Liu J, Jiang DJ, Zhang YD

Affiliation(s): Heart and Bloodvessel Centre, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China.

Publication date & source: 2010-06, Zhonghua Xin Xue Guan Bing Za Zhi., 38(6):527-30.

Publication type: Comparative Study; English Abstract; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and safety of intravenous levosimendan and dobutamine in patients with decompensated heart failure refractory to conventional medications. METHODS: Patients were recruited into this multicentre, randomised, positive-controlled and parallel-group study to receive either levosimendan or dobutamine therapy. In the levosimendan group, an initial loading dose of levosimendan of 12 microg x kg was infused over 10 min, followed by a continuous infusion of 0.1 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1) for 1 h and then 0.2 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1) for 23 h. In the control group, dobutamine was infused for 1 h at an initial dose of 2 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1) without a loading dose, followed by a continuous infusion of 4 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1) for 23 h. Hemodynamic responses at 24 h were evaluated by echocardiography (in both groups) and Swan-Gans catheter (in the levosimendan group). Clinical assessment was performed to evaluate efficacy and safety of the medications. RESULTS: A total of 225 patients from 12 medical centers were evaluated; 119 assigned to levosimendan and 106 assigned to dobutamine group. The effectiveness rate was 31.9% (38 patients) in the levosimendan group and 17.9% (19 patients) in the dobutamine group (P < 0.01). At 24 h, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was improved by 6. 4% in the levosimendan group, compared with 4.6% in the dobutamine group (P > 0.05). Stroke volume (SV) was increased by 11.1 ml in the levosimendan group and 2.8 ml in the dobutamine group respectively (P < 0.05). Dyspnea and clinical manifestations improvements were more significant in levosimendan therapy group compared to dobutamine group. There were less adverse effects including hypokalemia, hypotension and ventricular premature beats in the levosimendan group than in the dobutamine group (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Levosimendan was well tolerated and superior to dobutamine for patients with decompensated heart failure refractory to conventional medications.

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