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Cardiovasc Surg. 2003 Dec;11(6):459-63.

Routine beta-blockade in vascular surgery.

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Department of Surgery, Countess of Chester Hospital, Liverpool Road, Chester CH2 1UL, UK.


We have evaluated the safety and efficacy of routine beta-blockade for the prevention of cardiac complications in a comprehensive series of patients undergoing major vascular surgery and amputation for atherosclerotic arterial disease. From 1 December 2001 to 31 May 2002, patients received perioperative beta-blockade by atenolol. Outcomes in this period were compared to the immediately antecedent 6 months. The main outcome measure was the occurrence of cardiac complications. Fifty-three patients underwent surgery in the first period and 54 in the second. After introduction of routine beta-blockade, only one patient suffered cardiac complications compared to 10 in the first period (P=0.01). There were eight deaths in the first and two in the second period (P=0.052). On multivariate analysis, treatment with beta-blockers was the only variable significantly associated with a decrease in cardiac morbidity (OR=0.12; 95% CI=0.002-0.66; P=0.014). Two patients suffered bronchospasm leading to discontinuation of atenolol. Routine perioperative beta-blockade was safe and reduced the occurrence of cardiac complications after vascular surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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