Expert perspectives on acute and advanced heart failure

Our January 2019 blog post from Professor Gerhard Pölzl highlighting the European Heart Journal Supplement on the use of levosimendan in acute and advanced heart failure. 

The new year is up and running and I take this opportunity to wish all visitors and subscribers to good health and fulfilment in 2019.

My first blog post of the year is an invitation to you all to take a look at a supplement to the European Heart Journal that hit the bookshelves right at the end of 2018. I must declare an interest in the matter as I was the Supplement Editor but, even allowing for the natural pride in ownership that position evokes, I think this is a commendable addition to the literature on acute and advanced heart failure and will reward readers’ attention.

The bone and muscle of the essays in this Supplement was provided by my 16 distinguished fellow physicians from across Europe. Space prevents me name-checking them all here, and to be selective would be intolerable, but their credentials as commentators on these matters are undisputed and their thoughts on these subjects merit our attention.

I’m going to pick out two thoughts of my own, from my Editorial, to try and convey the enquiring tone of these essays and to encourage you to give the full Supplement some of your time:

“Patients [with Advanced Heart Failure] are vulnerable to repeated cycles of decompensation and hospitalization. Such episodes are debilitating for the patient and expensive for the health system. If we can intervene to restore equilibrium to patients in the vital time between the start of a phase of deterioration and the eventual hospitalization we could contribute significantly to their health-related quality of life and spare them the disappointment of yet another unscheduled hospital admission.”

“There is certainly enough evidence to identify levosimendan as one valuable element in an overall strategy of care directed towards maintaining patients in a condition of out-of-hospital stability.”



Pölzl G. Levosimendan in acute and advanced heart failure: still some chapters to be written. European Heart Journal Supplements. I1: 20(Suppl I):2018.

Harjola V-P et al. Use of levosimendan in acute heart failure. European Heart Journal Supplements. I2-I10: 20(Suppl I):2018.

Oliva F et al. Repetitive levosimendan treatment in the management of advanced heart failure. European Heart Journal Supplements. I11-I20: 20(Suppl I):2018.


Publications (22)
  • ESC 2017 in Barcelona

    Professor Gerhard Pölzl discusses the European Society of Cardiology annual meeting 2017, where several sessions were held on the use of levosimendan in heart failure.


    Professor Gerhard Pölzl highlights the significance of the FIGHT, PERSIST and LEVOREP trials which investigate levosimendan as a treatment for heart failure.

  • LEODOR trial - recent advances

    There have been some recent achievements in the LEODOR trial including a new website to facilitate administration and communication and submission of a formal study protocol synopsis to the European Journal of Heart Failure.

  • Levosimendan roars ahead as LION-HEART results published

    Professor Gerhard Pölzl reports primary results from the LION-HEART study in the management of advanced heart failure where among secondary endpoints, patients treated with levosimendan experienced a reduction in the rate of HF-related hospitalisation compared with placebo.

  • What does the Advanced Heart Failure patient want?

    Professor Cynthia M Dougherty and colleagues outline an array of options for the treatment of advanced heart failure (HF) that create – quite reasonably – the impression that we are in a golden age of therapeutic possibilities for this difficult condition.

  • Recent literature

    Explore the April 2019 blog from Professor Gerhard Pölz focuses on some of the recent literature he has read.

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