Long-term effects of levosimendan infusion on inflammatory processes and sFas in patients with severe heart failure.
Trikas A., Antoniades C., Latsios G., Vasiliadou K., Karamitros I., Tousoulis D., Tentolouris C., Stefanadis C.
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.