Objective: Levosimendan is a calcium sensitizer that enhances myocardial contractility without increasing myocardial oxygen use. Limited data are available on its renal-protective effect, and no statistically significant effects have been found. A meta-analysis was conducted for randomized studies to show whether perioperative levosimendan use could reduce acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
Data Sources: BioMed Central, PubMed EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for pertinent studies.
Study Selection: Randomized trials that compared levosimendan versus placebo or any other control in cardiac surgery with data on AKI were included. Exclusion criteria were duplicate publications, nonadult studies, oral administration of levosimendan, and studies with no data on AKI.
Data Extraction: Study endpoints, study design, population, clinical setting, levosimendan dosage, and treatment duration were extracted.
Data Synthesis: Data from 529 patients in 5 randomized trials were analyzed. The analysis showed that levosimendan decreased postoperative incidence of AKI in the levosimendan group.
Conclusions: This analysis suggests that levosimendan might reduce renal injury in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery. More prospective randomized studies are needed to further demonstrate the benefits of levosimendan on renal protection in cardiac surgery.