Levosimendan Treatment After Primary Organ Failure in Heart Transplantation: A Direct Way to Recovery?

Beiras-Fernandez, Andres1; Weis, Florian C.2; Fuchs, Herbert2; Meiser, Bruno M.1; Reichart, Bruno1; Weis, Marion2,3

doi: 10.1097/01.tp.0000233845.15508.89
Brief Reports

Heart transplantation is considered nowadays the gold standard in the therapy of chronic and terminal heart insufficiency. Primary organ failure after heart transplantation is a severe complication generally related to prolonged ischemia time, poor quality of the organ, or acute rejection. All these factors can potentially lead to multiorgan failure. Pharmacological and mechanical support for these patients is limited and often related to side effects. Ca2+ sensitizers have been proposed to increase cardiac contractility without altering intracellular Ca2+ levels, thus avoiding the side effects of Ca2+ overload. We report two cases of heart transplanted patients suffering from acute graft failure in the early postoperative period who recovered after intravenous administration of levosimendan, a Ca2+ sensitizer.

1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.

2 Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.

3 Address correspondence to: M. Weis, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.

E-mail: Marion.Weis@med.uni-muenchen.de

Received 24 March 2006. Revision requested 21 April 2006.

Accepted 26 April 2006.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.