The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of levosimendan (chemical formula C14H12N6O) exposure on oxidant/antioxidant status and trace-element levels in the thoracic aorta of rats. Eighteen male Wistar albino rats were randomly divided into two groups of eight animals each. Group 1 was not exposed to levosimendan and served as a control. Levosimendan (12 mu g/kg) diluted in 10 ml 0.5 % dextrose was administered intraperitoneally to group 2. Animals of both groups were killed after 3 days, and their thoracic aortae were harvested for determination of changes in tissue oxidant/antioxidant status and trace-element levels. The animals in both groups were killed 72 h after levosimendan exposure, and thoracic aortae were harvested for determination of the lipid peroxidation product MDA and antioxidant GSH levels and the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as SOD, GSH-Px and CAT. It was found that MDA, GSH and CAT enzyme levels increased in thoracic aortae of rats after levosimendan administration. SOD and CA enzyme activities and the level of antioxidant GSH decreased in thoracic aortae of rats after levosimendan treatment. Pb, Cd and Fe levels of thoracic aortae were significantly higher (P < 0.001) and Mg, Mn, Zn and Cu were significantly lower (P < 0.001) in the levosimendan group compared to the control group. These results suggest that short-term levosimendan treatment caused an increase in free radical production and a decrease in antioxidant enzyme activity in thoracic aortae of levosimendan-treated rats. It also causes a decrease or increase in many mineral levels of the thoracic aorta, which is an undesirable condition for normal pharmacological function.