Efficacy and safety of timolol for prevention of supraventricular tachyarrhythmias after coronary artery bypass surgery.
Forty-one patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting were randomly assigned to receive prophylactic timolol or placebo, given in a double-blind fashion. beta-Adrenoceptor-blocking therapy was stopped at least one half-life before surgery. Three to 7 hr after surgery (304 +/- 56 min), 0.5 mg of timolol or placebo was given intravenously twice daily in a double-blind manner. When oral medications were resumed postoperatively, 10 mg of timolol twice daily or placebo was continued orally. Continuous electrocardiograms were recorded for 24 hr before and for 7 days after surgery with a standard cassette recorder. No patient received digoxin. Both groups were comparable for frequency of preoperative supraventricular arrhythmias, left ventricular ejection fraction, duration of cardiopulmonary bypass, aortic cross-clamp time, number of bypass grafts, and total duration of monitoring. Analysis of arrhythmias was done by hand counts, and supraventricular arrhythmias were divided into supraventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation and/or flutter. Timolol decreased the frequency of supraventricular tachycardia (581 episodes placebo vs 84 timolol; p less than .05) and of atrial fibrillation and/or flutter (291 episodes placebo vs five timolol; p less than .05). Timolol decreased the number of patients with severe (heart rate greater than 200 beats/min, duration greater than 50 beats) episodes of supraventricular tachycardia (four placebo vs 0 timolol; p less than .05) and also decreased the number of episodes of severe (heart rate greater than 200 beats/min, duration greater than 5 min) atrial fibrillation and/or flutter (16 placebo vs one timolol; p less than .005). There were differences in the durations of supraventricular arrhythmias.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association