Levosimendan Use Increases Cardiac Performance after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients

Heart Surg Forum. 2016 Oct 27;19(5):E230-E236. doi: 10.1532/hsf.1426.


Background: The effect of levosimendan on myocardial performance has not been studied in dialysis-dependent end-stage renal disease patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. Our aim was to investigate the effect of levosimendan on postoperative hemodynamic effects in end-stage renal disease patients undergoing CABG operation.

Methods: We performed 58 elective isolated CABG operations in end-stage renal disease patients. The study group received levosimendan at a slow bolus dose of 3 µg/kg, followed by a 24-hour infusion of 0.03-0.05 µg/kg/kg/min. (study group [SG]: n = 25). The remaining patients received a placebo (control group [CG]: n = 33). The mean left ventricular ejection fraction of both groups was similar (44.6 ± 55.4% versus 42.8 ± 53.9%). Hemodynamic data were collected at the end, at 1 hour after CPB, and thereafter at 6, 12, and 24 hours in the ICU. Preoperatively, at the end of the operation, at 1 hour after CPB, and thereafter at 6, 12, and 24 hours in the ICU, blood samples from the peripheral vein were collected for cardiac troponin-I (c-TnI) and lactate levels. Norepinephrine if needed started during the rewarming period in both groups.

Results: One patient in SG (4%) and 4 patients (12.1%) in CG died postoperatively (P < .01). Cardiac output and cardiac index values did not change early after weaning from extracorporeal circulation, and they were nearly similar during the next 6 hours in both groups. In SG, cardiac output and cardiac index significantly improved at 6 hours, and were stable at the end of 24 hours (P < .001). Hemodynamic parameters were nearly similar after the operation, and did not change significantly at the end of 24 hours in CG. Hemodynamic improvement caused a significant reduction in systemic and pulmonary artery vascular resistance index in SG (P < .002). Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure decreased significantly in SG (P < .034). Cumulative inotrope dose requirement and intraaortic balloon pump use were significantly lower in SG. In addition, blood lactate and cTnI levels were significanly lower in SG (P < .044).

Conclusion: No important adverse effect was detected during levosimendan infusion. Because levosimendan at a dose of 0.03-0.05 μg/kg/min increased myocardial performance significantly in the postoperative period, it can be used safely in end-stage renal disease patients undergoing isolated CABG. The requirement of vasopressors were lower in SG.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Output, Low / prevention & control*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Hydrazones / administration & dosage
  • Hydrazones / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Pyridazines / administration & dosage
  • Pyridazines / therapeutic use*
  • Simendan
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Hydrazones
  • Pyridazines
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Simendan