Background: Myocardial ischemia remains a major cause of morbidity in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. The purpose of the paper was to review the evidence of the use of perioperative β-blockers for the reduction of myocardial ischemia in patients having noncardiac surgery. Method: Pubmed was searched for articles that included β-blockers and perioperative myocardial ischemia. Randomized controlled trials that assessed the effect of β-blockers on myocardial ischemia in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery were included in this review and a meta-analysis was performed. Results: Sixteen randomized controlled trials including 2230 patients were included. The study methodologies and results were summarized and meta-analysis performed. Ten trials used β-blockers in the postoperative period; 954 patients received β-blockers and 924 patients were in the control group. Of the six trials that used β-blocker for premedication, there were 207 patients in the β-blocker and 145 patients in the control group. For the cohort when β-blockers were used postoperatively, myocardial ischemia was reduced significantly with the use of β-blockers (OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.27-0.65; P=0.0001; I2=0%). A similar beneficial effect was observed in trials that used β-blocker for premedication (OR 0.16; 95% CI 0.07-0.35; P < 0.00001; I2=40%). Conclusion: The meta-analysis shows that the use of β-blockers, both as premedication and postoperatively, in noncardiac surgery is associated with a significant reduction in perioperative myocardial ischemia.
Keywords: Perioperative β-blocker, noncardiac surgery, myocardial ischemia, review, meta-analysis
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