Beta-blockers probably make little or no difference to the number of people who die or have a myocardial infarction within 30 days of cardiac surgery but may reduce atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias, according to the findings of a new Cochrane Review.
The review set out to assess the effectiveness of perioperatively administered beta‐blockers for the prevention of surgery‐related mortality and morbidity in adults undergoing cardiac surgery. Data were considered from 63 studies with 7768 adults. Six of these studies were quasi‐randomised, whereas the remaining were randomised controlled trials.
The authors found no evidence of a difference in early all‐cause mortality, myocardial infarction, hypotension or bradycardia with perioperative beta-blocker use. Few studies reported on cerebrovascular events, and the authors said the evidence in this area was uncertain. However, the review did find that beta-blockers may reduce atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter and ventricular arrhythmias.
The authors noted that the certainty of the evidence in this review was mostly low. They said four studies for which full results have not yet been published may alter the conclusions of this review.