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BACKGROUND: The calcium sensitizer levosimendan improves myocardial contractility in patients with heart failure, although its effects on inflammation and apoptosis are unknown. AIM: To examine the effects of levosimendan on markers of inflammation and apoptosis, over a period of 30 d following a 24 h infusion, in patients with heart failure. METHODS: Thirty four patients with severe heart failure were randomised to receive a 24 h infusion of levosimendan or placebo, in a double-blind trial. Haemodynamic evaluation and blood sampling were performed at baseline, 24 h, 30 h, 48 h, 7 d and 30 d after the end of the infusion. RESULTS: Seven patients (1 levosimendan, 6 placebo), were excluded during follow-up. In the remaining 27 patients, levosimendan decreased serum IL-6 and sFAS, 24 h after the infusion (p<0.01 and p<0.05 vs baseline), an effect sustained for 7-30 d. Serum TNF-alpha and sTNF-R1 were decreased between 48 h (p<0.01 vs baseline for both) and 7 d (p<0.05 vs baseline for sTNF-R1) after infusion. Serum sTNF-R2 was decreased at 24 h (p<0.05 vs baseline) and remained lower than baseline for at least 7 d (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that levosimendan decreases the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha receptors and sFAS, immediately after infusion, an effect which persists for 7-30 d.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ejheart.2006.03.003

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur J Heart Fail

Publication Date

12/2006

Volume

8

Pages

804 - 809

Keywords

Aged, Female, Heart Failure, Humans, Hydrazones, Inflammation, Infusions, Parenteral, Interleukin-6, Male, Pyridazines, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I, Solubility, Time Factors, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, fas Receptor