Bolus doses of esmolol for the prevention of perioperative hypertension and tachycardia

D Oxorn, J W Knox, J Hill
Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia 1990, 37 (2): 206-9
The effectiveness of esmolol, an ultra short-acting cardioselective beta blocker, in the prevention and treatment of post-intubation haemodynamic perturbations, was investigated. Forty-eight ASA physical status I and II patients undergoing hysterectomy were randomly assigned to receive a single intravenous bolus of placebo, esmolol 100 mg, or esmolol 200 mg in a double-blind fashion. This was administered over 15 sec, and immediately followed by thiopentone 3-5, succinylcholine 1.5, and tracheal intubation 90 sec later. The heart rate following induction of anaesthesia was lower in the esmolol 200 mg group (P less than 0.01); following intubation, the increase in heart rate in the placebo group was greater than in the esmolol groups (P less than 0.05). The systolic blood pressure post-induction was lower in the esmolol 200 mg group (P less than 0.05); following intubation, however, no significant differences were seen among groups in systolic, diastolic, or mean blood pressures. Following tracheal intubation, the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias was lower in the esmolol groups (P less than 0.05). In summary, esmolol in 100 mg and 200 mg doses was effective in mitigating the haemodynamic response following tracheal intubation.

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