OBJECTIVES: The use of levosimendan for paediatric patients with low cardiac output after congenital heart surgery has been recently described. We sought to evaluate ventriculo-arterial coupling (VAC) and other ventricular energetic parameters before and after 72 h from levosimendan start in infants with single-ventricle physiology and cardiac failure after palliation with Norwood or hybrid procedures. METHODS: In this single-centre retrospective study, 9 consecutive patients affected by hypoplastic left heart syndrome-like anatomy were retrospectively analysed. Systolic elastance, diastolic elastance, arterial elastance, VAC and cardiac mechanical efficiency were calculated by measuring, through 2-dimensional echocardiography, end-systolic volume and end-diastolic volume and by recording mean arterial pressure and central venous pressure. RESULTS: The median (range) weight and age were 2.8 (2.3-6) kg and 16.5 (6-116) days, respectively. After 72 h from levosimendan start, end-systolic volume significantly decreased (-1 ml, -3.2 to -0.1, P = 0.007), whereas mean arterial pressure and end-diastolic volume remained stable. Heart rate showed a significant decrease (-28 beats/min, -41 to 22, P = 0.008). Systolic elastance (2.9 mmHg/ml, 0.4-5.4, P = 0.008), arterial elastance (-5.9, -24 to -0.5, P = 0.038), VAC (-0.86, -1.5 to -0.16, P = 0.009) and cardiac mechanical efficiency (0.18, 0.03-0.22, P = 0.008) differences also showed significant modifications. CONCLUSIONS: In a small case series of patients with single-ventricle physiology, levosimendan showed to improve contractility and optimize VAC, with a reduction of heart rate. Monitoring of VAC and ventricular energetics can be an interesting aspect to improve the management of heart failure in infants with univentricular anatomy.
- Paediatric cardiac surgery
- Palliative surgery
- Univentricular heart
- Ventriculo-arterial coupling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine