Effects of Levosimendan on Patients with Heart Failure Complicating Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2017 Dec;17(6):453-463. doi: 10.1007/s40256-017-0237-0.


Background: The prognosis for patients with heart failure (HF), including cardiogenic shock (CS), complicating acute coronary syndrome (ACS) remains poor.

Objective: This study aimed to review the relevant literature and evaluate whether levosimendan was associated with better clinical outcomes in these patients.

Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library databases for randomized controlled trials that investigated levosimendan compared with any control in patients with HF/CS complicating ACS.

Results: A total of 1065 patients from nine trials were included in this study. Analysis showed that levosimendan significantly reduced total mortality and the incidence of worsening HF. In patients with HF-ACS, levosimendan was associated with reduced mortality. In patients with CS-ACS, no significant difference was observed between the two groups. Levosimendan contributed to significantly reduced mortality when compared with placebo, but no significant reduction was seen compared with dobutamine. Compared with controls, levosimendan decreased pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and systemic vascular resistance and increased cardiac index, with no significant difference observed between the groups in terms of heart rate. Levosimendan non-significantly increased the risk of hypotension but did not increase the risk of ischemic episodes, sinus tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, or ventricular arrhythmias.

Conclusion: Levosimendan appears to be a promising drug to reduce mortality and worsening HF in patients with HF/CS-ACS. It appears to provide hemodynamic benefit and was associated with an increased risk of hypotension.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Cardiotonic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrazones / adverse effects
  • Hydrazones / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Pyridazines / adverse effects
  • Pyridazines / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / drug therapy
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / physiopathology
  • Simendan


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Hydrazones
  • Pyridazines
  • Simendan