Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Heart Fail

Publication Date





804 - 809


Aged, Female, Heart Failure, Humans, Hydrazones, Inflammation, Infusions, Parenteral, Interleukin-6, Male, Pyridazines, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I, Simendan, Solubility, Time Factors, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, fas Receptor