Planned repetitive use of levosimendan for heart failure in cardiology and internal medicine in Sweden.

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Planned repetitive use of levosimendan for heart failure in cardiology and internal medicine in Sweden.

Int J Cardiol. 2014 Apr 29;

Authors: Thorvaldsen T, Benson L, Hagerman I, Dahlström U, Edner M, Lund LH

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Levosimendan is used in acute heart failure (HF) and increasingly as planned repetitive infusions in stable chronic HF, but the extent of this practice is unknown. The aim was to assess the use of levosimendan vs. conventional inotropes and the use as planned repetitive vs. acute treatment, in Sweden.
METHODS: We performed a descriptive study with individual patient validation assessing the use of levosimendan and conventional intravenous inotropes, indications for levosimendan, clinical characteristics and survival in the Swedish Heart Failure Registry between 2000 and 2011. For repetitive levosimendan, we assessed potential indications for alternative interventions.
RESULTS: Of 53,548 total registrations, there were 655 confirmed with inotrope use (597 levosimendan, 37 conventional, 21 both) from 22 hospitals responding to validation, and 6069 in-patient controls with New York Heart Association III-IV and ejection fraction <40%. The indications for levosimendan were acute HF in 384 registrations (306 patients), and planned repetitive in 234 registrations (87 patients). Planned repetitive as a proportion of total levosimendan registrations ranged 0-65% and of total levosimendan patients ranged 0-54% in different hospitals. Of planned repetitive patients without existing cardiac resynchronization therapy, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, transplant and/or assist device, 46-98% were potential candidates for such interventions.
CONCLUSION: In HF in cardiology and internal medicine in Sweden, levosimendan was the overwhelming inotrope of choice, and the use of planned repetitive levosimendan was extensive, highly variable between hospitals and may have pre-empted other interventions. Potential effects of and indications for planned repetitive levosimendan need to be evaluated in prospective studies.

PMID: 24820737 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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