Data from International Journal of Cardiology - Curated by EPG Health - Date available 15 January 2018


Pay for access, or by subscription

Original date published

15 January 2018

Original format

Print publication


Several studies suggested beneficial effects of perioperative levosimendan on postoperative outcome after cardiac surgery. However, three large randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been recently published and presented neutral results. We performed a systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis (TSA) to assess benefits and harms of perioperative levosimendan therapy in cardiac surgery.


Electronic databases were searched up to September 2017 for RCTs on preoperative levosimendan versus any type of control. The Cochrane methodology was employed. We calculated odds ratio (OR) or Risk Ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) using fixed-effects meta-analyses and we further performed TSA.


We included data from 40 RCTs and 4246 patients. Pooled analysis of 5 low risk of bias trials (1910 patients) showed no association between levosimendan and mortality (OR 0.86 [95% CI, 0.62, 1.18], p=0.34, TSA inconclusive), acute kidney injury, need of renal replacement therapy, myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias, and serious adverse events, but an association with higher incidence of supraventricular arrhythmias (RR 1.11 [95% CI, 1.00, 1.24], p=0.05, TSA inconclusive) and hypotension (RR 1.15 [95% CI, 1.01, 1.30], p=0.04, TSA inconclusive). Analysis including all 40 trials found that levosimendan was associated with lower postoperative mortality (OR 0.56 [95% CI, 0.44, 0.71], p<0.00001, TSA conclusive), acute kidney injury, and renal replacement therapy, and higher incidence of hypotension.


There is not enough high-quality evidence to neither support nor discourage the systematic use of levosimendan in cardiac surgery.

Data sources

Read abstract on library site Access full article


You will need to login, to leave a comment. is not monitored for collection of adverse event reports. Any adverse events should be reported to your national reporting agency and/or the manufacturer.

Learning Zones

An Learning Zone (LZ) is an area of the site dedicated to providing detailed self-directed medical education about a disease, condition or procedure.

Acute and Advanced Heart Failure

Acute and Advanced Heart Failure

What are the most effective treatments for acute heart failure? Can you define advanced heart failure? Discover here...

+ 3 more

ESICM LIVES Highlights

ESICM LIVES Highlights

ESICM LIVES Congress 2018: Bringing you the latest news and insights from the 31st ESICM LIVES Congress, 20–24 October 2018 Paris, France.



See information on best practice in solid organ transplantation, and expert discussions on related hot topics.

Load more

Related Content