Data from European Journal of Heart Failure - Curated by EPG Health - Date available 01 March 2009


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1 March 2009

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Aims: Many chronic heart failure (CHF) patients take beta-blockers. When such patients are hospitalized for decompensation, it remains unclear how ongoing beta-blocker treatment will affect outcomes of acute inotrope therapy. We aimed to assess outcomes of SURVIVE patients who were on beta-blocker therapy before receiving a single intravenous infusion of levosimendan or dobutamine.

Methods and Results: Cox proportional hazard regression revealed all-cause mortality benefits of levosimendan treatment over dobutamine when the SURVIVE population was stratified according to baseline presence/absence of CHF history and use/non-use of beta-blocker treatment at baseline. All-cause mortality was lower in the CHF/levosimendan group than in the CHF/dobutamine group, showing treatment differences by hazard ratio (HR) at days 5 (3.4 vs. 5.8%; HR, 0.58, CI 0.33–1.01, P = 0.05) and 14 (7.0 vs. 10.3%; HR, 0.67, CI 0.45–0.99, P = 0.045). For patients who used beta-blockers (n = 669), mortality was significantly lower for levosimendan than dobutamine at day 5 (1.5 vs. 5.1% deaths; HR, 0.29; CI 0.11–0.78, P = 0.01).

Conclusion: Levosimendan may be better than dobutamine for treating patients with a history of CHF or those on beta-blocker therapy when they are hospitalized with acute decompensations. These findings are preliminary but important for planning future studies.

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