Can esmolol manage surgically‐induced tachycardia? Bolus esmolol treatment of intra‐operative tachycardia due to surgical stimulation

J. Whirley‐Diaz, M. I. Gold, S. M. Helfman, E. A. DeLisser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


A double-blind, randomised study was conducted to examine the efficacy of a single bolus dose of esmolol in treating surgically-induced tachycardia. Anaesthetic technique was identical in all patients, and consisted of premedication with midazolam and glycopyrronium, induction with thiopentone followed by suxamethonium, tracheal intubation, and maintenance with isoflurane 0.6% (end-tidal) and 60% nitrous oxide in oxygen. Forty-eight patients developed a heart rate of greater than 95 beats/minute or 20% more than pre-induction values at an average time of 34 minutes after tracheal intubation and received placebo (15 patients), esmolol 50 mg (16 patients), or esmolol 100 mg (17 patients). Controlled intervention was instituted if heart rate or blood pressure was not adequate. Both 50 and 100 mg of esmolol resulted in lower heart rates compared to placebo (p < 0.05), with no difference between the two esmolol groups (p > 0.05). Patients who received placebo had more episodes of medical intervention than those given esmolol (p < 0.05). No adverse effects occurred in any patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-223
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1991



  • heart; tachycardia
  • sympathetic nervous system; β-adrenergic antagonists, esmolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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