Preconditioning effects of levosimendan in a rabbit cardiac ischemia-reperfusion model

István Leprán, Piero Pollesello, Szilvia Vajda, András Varró, Julius Gy Papp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


The preconditioning effects of levosimendan were investigated on ischemia-reperfusion induced morphological and functional cardiac damage. Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts were reserved as controls or subjected either to global myocardial ischemic preconditioning or to perfusion with levosimendan (0.1 μmol/l) for two 5-minute cycles. After a washout period, all hearts were then subjected to 30 minutes of global ischemia and 120 minutes of drug-free reperfusion. Intraventricular pressure and coronary flow were measured, and infarct size determined after nitroblue-tetrazolium staining on completion of the experiments. Levosimendan pretreatment resulted in a significantly smaller elevation from the preischemic level in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure during reperfusion (37 ± 17 mm Hg) compared with controls (56 ± 14 mm Hg) and ischemia-preconditioned hearts (53 ± 34 mm Hg). The left ventricular developed pressure-representing the functional recovery of the heart after ischemia-that was significantly improved by levosimendan pretreatment (38 ± 6% vs 16 ± 5% in controls, P < 0.05). In addition, contractility and relaxability parameters (+dP/dt and -dP/dt, respectively) were better preserved in the levosimendan hearts. The volume of infarcted myocardium after global ischemia-reperfusion was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased by both ischemic preconditioning (38 ± 2%) or levosimendan pretreatment (45 ± 2%) versus controls (52 ± 2%). The results of this study suggest that levosimendan pretreatment is capable of decreasing infarct size in an ischemia-reperfusion model and improving recovery of cardiac function following ex vivo global ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-152
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of cardiovascular pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2006


  • Cardiac mechanical activity
  • Infarct size
  • Ischemia
  • Levosimendan
  • Preconditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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