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Br J Anaesth. 2000 Mar;84(3):311-5.

Effect of chronic intercurrent medication with beta-adrenoceptor blockade or calcium channel entry blockade on postoperative silent myocardial ischaemia.

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  • 1Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, UK.


We have examined observational data from four published studies investigating the incidence of postoperative silent myocardial ischaemia (post-SMI) for the effects of chronic intercurrent therapy with beta-adrenoceptor blockade or chronic calcium channel entry blockade. A total of 453 patients underwent ambulatory ECG monitoring before and for 2 days after non-cardiac surgery; 79 patients were receiving chronic intercurrent beta-adrenoceptor blockade and 70 calcium channel entry blockade for ischaemic heart disease or arterial hypertension. Using logistic regression analysis, we defined a model for post-SMI that included four significant terms: beta-adrenoceptor blockade; calcium channel entry blockade; arterial hypertension; and vascular surgery. Using univariate regression, there was no effect of chronic beta-adrenoceptor blocking therapy on post-SMI (odds ratio 0.94 (95% confidence intervals 0.54-1.65)), but there was a higher incidence of post-SMI in patients receiving chronic calcium channel entry blocking drugs (odds ratio 1.95 (1.15-3.32); P = 0.015). There was no interaction between beta-adrenoceptor blockade and calcium channel entry blockade for postoperative SMI (odds ratio 2.48 (0.71-8.73)), but there was an interaction between beta-adrenoceptor blockade, calcium channel entry blockade, hypertension and vascular surgery (P = 0.0201). These findings are at variance with those which have shown effects of preoperative beta-adrenoceptor blockade on the incidence of post-SMI over the first 7 days after operation, and on mortality rates to 2 yr. There are no comparable data examining the effects of chronic intercurrent calcium channel entry blockade.

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