The Effect of Levosimendan On Postoperative Bleeding and Blood Transfusion in Cardiac Surgical Patients: A PRISMA-Compliant Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Perfusion. 2020 Oct 17. Online Ahead of Print

This meta-analysis suggested that, peri-operative administration of LEVO was not associated with increased risks of post-operative bleeding and blood transfusion requirement in cardiac surgical patients.

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Levosimendan (LEVO), is an inotropic agent which has been shown to be associated with better myocardial performance, and higher survival rate in cardiac surgical patients. However, preliminary clinical evidence suggested that LEVO increased the risk of post-operative bleeding in patients undergoing valve surgery. Currently, there has been no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) designed specifically on this issue. Therefore, we performed present systemic review and meta-analysis.

Electronic databases were searched to identify all RCTs comparing LEVO with Control (placebo, blank, dobutamine, milrinone, etc). Primary outcomes include post-operative blood loss and re-operation for bleeding. Secondary outcomes included post-operative transfusion of red blood cells (RBC), fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and platelet concentrates (PC). For continuous variables, treatment effects were calculated as weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidential interval (CI). For dichotomous data, treatment effects were calculated as odds ratio (OR) and 95% CI.

Search yielded 15 studies including 1,528 patients. Meta-analysis suggested that, LEVO administration was not associated with increased risk of reoperation for bleeding post-operatively (OR = 1.01; 95%CI: 0.57 to 1.79; p = 0.97) and more blood loss volume (WMD = 28.25; 95%CI: –19.21 to 75.72; p = 0.24). Meta-analysis also demonstrated that, LEVO administration did not increase post-operative transfusion requirement for RBC (rate: OR = 0.97; 95%CI: 0.72 to 1.30; p = 0.83 and volume: WMD = 0.34; 95%CI: –0.55 to 1.22; p = 0.46), FFP (volume: WMD = 0.00; 95%CI: –0.10 to 0.10; p = 1.00) and PC (rate: OR = 1.01; 95%CI: 0.41 to 2.50; p = 0.98 and volume: WMD = 0.00; 95%CI: –0.05 to 0.04; p = 0.95).

This meta-analysis suggested that, peri-operative administration of LEVO was not associated with increased risks of post-operative bleeding and blood transfusion requirement in cardiac surgical patients.