Effects of levosimendan on ventriculo-arterial coupling and cardiac efficiency in paediatric patients with single-ventricle physiology after surgical palliation: retrospective study


Iacobelli R, Ricci Z, Marinari E, Haiberger R, Di Molfetta A, Toscano A, Di Chiara L.

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2020 Apr 1;30(4):623-629. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivz319.

PMID: 31986196

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Objectives: The use of levosimendan for paediatric patients with low cardiac output after congenital heart surgery has been recently described. We sought to evaluate ventriculo-arterial coupling (VAC) and other ventricular energetic parameters before and after 72 h from levosimendan start in infants with single-ventricle physiology and cardiac failure after palliation with Norwood or hybrid procedures.

Methods: In this single-centre retrospective study, 9 consecutive patients affected by hypoplastic left heart syndrome-like anatomy were retrospectively analysed. Systolic elastance, diastolic elastance, arterial elastance, VAC and cardiac mechanical efficiency were calculated by measuring, through 2-dimensional echocardiography, end-systolic volume and end-diastolic volume and by recording mean arterial pressure and central venous pressure.

Results: The median (range) weight and age were 2.8 (2.3-6) kg and 16.5 (6-116) days, respectively. After 72 h from levosimendan start, end-systolic volume significantly decreased (-1 ml, -3.2 to -0.1, P = 0.007), whereas mean arterial pressure and end-diastolic volume remained stable. Heart rate showed a significant decrease (-28 beats/min, -41 to 22, P = 0.008). Systolic elastance (2.9 mmHg/ml, 0.4-5.4, P = 0.008), arterial elastance (-5.9, -24 to -0.5, P = 0.038), VAC (-0.86, -1.5 to -0.16, P = 0.009) and cardiac mechanical efficiency (0.18, 0.03-0.22, P = 0.008) differences also showed significant modifications.

Conclusions: In a small case series of patients with single-ventricle physiology, levosimendan showed to improve contractility and optimize VAC, with a reduction of heart rate. Monitoring of VAC and ventricular energetics can be an interesting aspect to improve the management of heart failure in infants with univentricular anatomy.