Association between levosimendan, postoperative AKI, and mortality in cardiac surgery: Insights from the LEVO-CTS trial Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate the association between levosimendan treatment and acute kidney injury (AKI) as well as assess the clinical sequelae of AKI in cardiac surgery patients with depressed left ventricular function (ejection fraction <35%). METHODS: Patients in the LEVO-CTS trial undergoing on-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), valve, or CABG/valve surgery were stratified by occurrence and severity of postoperative AKI using the AKIN classification. The association between levosimendan infusion and AKI was modeled using multivariable regression. RESULTS: Among 854 LEVO-CTS patients, 231 (27.0%) experienced postoperative AKI, including 182 (21.3%) with stage 1, 35 (4.1%) with stage 2, and 14 (1.6%) with stage 3 AKI. The rate of AKI was similar between patients receiving levosimendan or placebo. The odds of 30-day mortality significantly increased by AKI stage compared to those without AKI (stage 1: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.8-4.9; stage 2: aOR 9.1, 95% CI 3.2-25.7; stage 3: aOR 12.4, 95% CI 3.0-50.4). No association was observed between levosimendan, AKI stage, and odds of 30-day mortality (interaction P = .69). Factors independently associated with AKI included increasing age, body mass index, diabetes, and increasing baseline systolic blood pressure. Increasing baseline eGFR and aldosterone antagonist use were associated with a lower risk of AKI. CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative AKI is common among high-risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery and associated with significantly increased risk of 30-day death or dialysis. Levosimendan was not associated with the risk of AKI.


  • Jawitz, Oliver K
  • Stebbins, Amanda S
  • Raman, Vignesh
  • Alhanti, Brooke
  • van Diepen, Sean
  • Heringlake, Matthias
  • Fremes, Stephen
  • Whitlock, Richard
  • Meyer, Steven R
  • Mehta, Rajendra H
  • Stafford-Smith, Mark
  • Goodman, Shaun G
  • Alexander, John H
  • Lopes, Renato D

publication date

  • January 2021

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