β Blockers protect brain during cardiac surgery

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 22 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1475
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    The use of b adrenoreceptor antagonists (b blockers) during coronary artery bypass surgery reduced postoperative stroke and coma by almost half.

    A study from Duke University Medical Center compared outcomes in 2575 consecutive patients who had elective cardiac bypass surgery between June 1994 and December 1996 (Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia 2002; in press).

    “We were surprised to see as much effect as we did, even controlling for other factors. Stroke occurred in 1.9% of patients receiving b blockers compared with 4.3% in those who did not. That's almost a 50% reduction,” said Dr Mark Newman, lead author and professor and chairman of the department of anaesthesiology at the Duke centre.

    The authors state: “This effect …

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