Preoperative use of levosimendan in cardiac surgery patients is one of the most attractive therapeutic alternatives in subjects with left or right ventricular dysfunction. Our review explores the pharmacological bases and clinical evidence for the use of levosimendan, with the intention of making a series of recommendations regarding its use in preoperative optimization prior to cardiac surgery. We carried out a survey of 102 Spanish anesthesiologists in order to shed light on the grey areas regarding the use of this drug prior to surgery.
Our findings suggest that levosimendan is recommended for patients with severe left or right ventricular dysfunction, moderate left ventricular dysfunction in which Intra-aortic Balloon Counterpulsation (IABC) is necessary and severe pulmonary hypertension. Administration of levosimendan prior to surgical cardiac intervention without an initial bolus reduces the likelihood of complications.
Keywords: Cardiac surgery, cardiac protection, levosimendan, preoperative treatment, preconditioning.
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