Zurich, 7 February 2014. Since the end of 2011 when the scientific work of Professor Don Poldermans was first scrutinized there has been controversy in the medical world about the use of beta blockers in perioperative care.
The recent publication - and retraction for proper peer reviewing and revision - in the European Heart Journal (EHJ) of a paper by Professors Cole and Francis from Imperial College, questioning whether beta blockers in perioperative care could lead to a mortality increase brought the topic back into the public eye.
The EHJ has published an editorial (1) today addressing these questions.
In the editorial, Professors Thomas Lüscher, Bernard Gersh, Ulf Landmesser and Frank Ruschitzka highlight, among other points, that jumping to conclusions may be particularly dangerous for both physicians and patients. In this respect, they pointed out that:
Whether beta blockers in perioperative care are protective, safe or harmful continues to be a subject of debate. The new ESC Guidelines will try to clarify some of the controversial issues. As stated jointly by ACC/AHA/ESC (4), in the meantime, the current position is that “the initiation of beta blockers in patients who will undergo non-cardiac surgery should not be considered routine, but should be considered carefully by each patient’s treating physician on a case-by-case basis.”
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