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Levosimendan as adjuvant therapy for cardiogenic shock patients with temporary ventricular assist device

 Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Chien-Sung Tsai,
No. 325, Sec. 2, Cheng-Kung Road, Neihu 114, Taipei
Po-Shun Hsu,
No. 325, Sec. 2, Cheng-Kung Road, Neihu 114, Taipei
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmedsci.jmedsci_209_22

Background: Temporary ventricular-assisted device (VAD) provides timely organ perfusion in patients with cardiogenic shock and serves as a bridge to heart transplant. Intravenous levosimendan could provide pharmacologic inotropic support. Aim: We aimed to investigate the adjuvant efficacy of levosimendan in patients with temporary VAD, especially for VAD weaning. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients receiving temporary VAD for cardiogenic shock between January 2017 and May 2019 in a medical center in Taiwan. Patients were divided into the levosimendan (n = 9, administered levosimendan immediately after VAD), and control groups (n = 20, no levosimendan administered). The biochemistry of systemic perfusion was compared at 1 and 3 days after VAD. After 2 months, the cardiac function of the patients with successful VAD weaning was evaluated by echocardiography. At 6 months follow-up, survival outcome and Kaplan–Meier survival curves were presented. Results: In total, 29 patients receiving temporary VAD for cardiogenic shock were enrolled, including 9 patients treated with levosimendan infusion. In the levosimendan group, both mean arterial pressure and lactate level decreased significantly (P = 0.037 and 0.023, respectively), and the ratio of arterial oxygen partial pressure to fractional inspired oxygen improved significantly (P = 0.048). No difference in inotropes tapering, consciousness, systemic perfusion biochemistry, and cardiac enzymes. Echocardiography showed significantly improved systolic function and pulmonary artery pressure 2 months later (P = 0.043 and 0.046, respectively) in patients with successful weaning. The levosimendan group had a better weaning rate (P = 0.013) and lower mortality rate (P = 0.571) at 6-month follow-up. Conclusion: The levosimendan group showed a better weaning rate and lower mortality rate.


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