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Critical Care

Open Access

Relationship between B-type natriuretic peptide plasma levels and echocardiography parameters in compensated chronic heart failure patients treated with levosimendan

  • EJ de Almeida Figueiredo1,
  • A Perez1,
  • E Knobel1,
  • JMA Souza1,
  • MB Ferri1,
  • M Knobel1,
  • M Nigri1,
  • P Silveira1,
  • RD Morsch1 and
  • RH Passos1
Critical Care200711(Suppl 3):P48

Published: 19 June 2007


Leave Ventricular Ejection FractionChronic Heart FailurePulmonary Artery PressureLevosimendanChronic Heart Failure Patient


B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) plasma levels have recently been demonstrated as significant neurohormonal markers of chronic heart failure (CHF) progression and prognosis. Additionally, clinical studies have shown that the calcium sensitizer levosimendan beneficially affects the central hemodynamics of CHF patients and improves their long-term prognosis.


To investigate whether levosimendan-induced hemo-dynamic improvement, as confirmed by echocardiogram of CHF patients, is related to respective changes in BNP levels.


Circulating levels of BNP were measured by ELISA in 37 patients with decompensated advanced CHF at baseline and 72 hours after the initiation of levosimendan treatment. Echocardiographic parameters – pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) – were also measured at baseline and 72 hours after infusion initiation. We used the threshold of 500 pg/ml for BNP, 30 mmHg for PAP and 50% for LVEF to define patients as having altered results.


We retrospectively analyzed 37 consecutive CHF patients to whom levosimendan was prescribed by the attending physician besides standard measures. BNP levels were significantly lower within 72 hours of levosimendan treatment (P < 0.01). A significant reduction of PAP (P < 0.05) was also found during the same period. A good correlation between the levosimendan-induced changes in LVEF and the respective reduction of BNP levels (P < 0.01) was observed.


Our results indicate that changes in BNP levels may be useful as biochemical markers of levosimendan-induced improvement in echocardiographic and clinical parameters.

Authors’ Affiliations

Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo – SP, Brazil


© BioMed Central Ltd 2007