Background: Low cardiac output syndrome is associated with increased mortality and occurs in 3% to 14% of patients undergoing cardiac surgery on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Levosimendan, a novel calcium sensitizer and KATP channel activator with inotropic, vasodilatory, and cardioprotective properties, has shown significant promise in reducing the incidence of low cardiac output syndrome and related adverse outcomes in patients undergoing cardiac surgery on CPB.
Methods: LEVO-CTS is a phase 3 randomized, controlled, multicenter study evaluating the efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of levosimendan in reducing morbidity and mortality in high-risk patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (≤35%) undergoing cardiac surgery on CPB. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive either intravenous levosimendan (0.2 μg kg-1 min-1 for the first hour followed by 0.1 μg/kg for 23hours) or matching placebo initiated within 8hours of surgery. The co-primary end points are (1) the composite of death or renal replacement therapy through day 30 or perioperative myocardial infarction, or mechanical assist device use through day 5 (quad end point tested at α<.01), and (2) the composite of death through postoperative day 30 or mechanical assist device use through day 5 (dual end point tested at α<.04). Safety end points include new atrial fibrillation and death through 90days. In addition, an economic analysis will address the cost-effectiveness of levosimendan compared with placebo in high-risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery on CPB. Approximately 880 patients will be enrolled at approximately 60 sites in the United States and Canada between July 2014 and September 2016, with results anticipated in January 2017.
Conclusion: LEVO-CTS, a large randomized multicenter clinical trial, will evaluate the efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of levosimendan in reducing adverse outcomes in high-risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery on CPB.
Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02025621).
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