Safety and feasibility of levosimendan administration in takotsubo cardiomyopathy: A case series

Francesco Santoro, Riccardo Ieva, Armando Ferraretti, Vincenzo Ienco, Giuseppe Carpagnano, Michele Lodispoto, Luigi Di Biase, Matteo Di Biase, Natale Daniele Brunetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Background: Levosimendan is a noncatecholamine inotrope that does not increase oxygen consumption, utilized for the treatment for acute heart failure with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction. Its use in takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC), a disease that contraindicates the use of catecholamine inotropes, is not well known. Methods: We prospectively analyzed 13 consecutive patients with TTC, low ejection fraction (EF) (<35%), and additional Mayo Clinic risk factors who were treated with i.v. infusion of levosimendan. Clinical course of patients, electrocardiogram presentation, LV function, and adverse events at follow-up were recorded. Results: All patients showed an impaired LV function (LVEF at admission 28 ± 5%), which significantly improved at discharge (51 ± 8%, P < 0.001). Mean hospital stay was 10 ± 4 days. Troponin levels at admission were directly related to length of hospitalization (r = 0.6, P < 0.001). Male gender (relative risk (RR) 1.85, P < 0.05), physical stress (RR 1.90, P < 0.05), ST elevation at ECG (RR 1.87, P < 0.05), and absence of chest pain (RR 2.23, P < 0.01) were found to be the predictors of longer hospital stay. Only 15% of subjects had adverse events during hospital stay; two patients incurred noncardiovascular death at follow-up. Age was the only predictor of adverse event at follow-up (RR 2.13, P < 0.05). Conclusions: The use of levosimendan may be safe and feasible in patients with TTC. Randomized studies are warranted to further confirm these preliminary results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e133-e137
JournalCardiovascular Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart failure
  • Levosimendan
  • Safety
  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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