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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Levosimendan improves LV systolic and diastolic performance at rest and during exercise after heart failure.

The new myofilament Ca2+ sensitizer levosimendan (LSM) is a positive inotropic and vasodilatory agent. Its beneficial effects have been demonstrated at rest in congestive heart failure (CHF). However, its effect during exercise (Ex) in CHF is unknown. We assessed the effects of LSM on left ventricular (LV) dynamics at rest and during Ex in eight conscious, instrumented dogs with pacing-induced CHF. After CHF, with dogs at rest, LSM decreased arterial elastance (Ea) and increased LV contractile performance as assessed by the slope of LV pressure-volume (P-V) relation. LSM caused a >60% increase in the peak rate of mitral flow (dV/dtmax) due to decreases in minimal LV pressure and the time constant of LV relaxation (tau). LV arterial coupling, quantified as the ratio of end-systolic elastance (Ees) to Ea, was increased from 0.47 to 0.85%. LV mechanical efficiency, determined as the ratio of stroke work to total P-V area, was improved from 0.54 +/- 0.09 to 0.61 +/- 0.07. These beneficial effects persisted during Ex after CHF. Compared with CHF Ex dogs, treatment with LSM prevented Ex-induced abnormal increases in mean left atrial pressure and end-diastolic pressure and decreased Ees/Ea. With LSM treatment during CHF Ex, the early diastolic portion of the LV P-V loop was shifted downward with decreased minimal LV pressure and tau values and a further augmented dV/dtmax. Ees/Ea improved, and mechanical efficiency further increased from 0.61 +/- 0.07 to 0.67 +/- 0.07, which was close to the value reached during normal Ex. After CHF, LSM produced arterial vasodilatation; improved LV relaxation and diastolic filling; increased contractility, LV arterial coupling, and mechanical efficiency; and normalized the response to Ex.[1]


  1. Levosimendan improves LV systolic and diastolic performance at rest and during exercise after heart failure. Tachibana, H., Cheng, H.J., Ukai, T., Igawa, A., Zhang, Z.S., Little, W.C., Cheng, C.P. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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