A comparison of esmolol and labetalol for the treatment of perioperative hypertension in geriatric ambulatory surgical patients

Prithi Pal Singh, Ivan Dimich, Ian Sampson, Norman Sonnenklar

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22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This is an open randomized study comparing the efficacy and safety of iv esmolol and labetalol in the treatment of perioperative hypertension in ambulatory surgery. Twenty-two elderly patients undergoing cataract surgery under local anaesthesia were studied. The main inclusion criteria were development of systolic blood pressure > 200 mmHg or diastolic > 100 mmHg. Esmolol was given as a bolus 500 μg · kg-1 iv followed by a maintenance infusion (150-300 μg · kg-1 · min-1). Labetalol was given as a bolus of 5 mg iv followed by 5 mg increments as needed up to a maximum of 1 mg · kg-1. Esmolol and labetalol both produced reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.05) within ten minutes of administration which lasted for at least two hours. Reduction of blood pressure by esmolol was accompanied by a decrease in HR (P < 0.05). Two patients developed extreme bradycardia (HR < 50 beats · min-1) and esmolol had to be discontinued. Labetalol, in contrast, induced only a moderate decrease in HR. None of the patients treated with labetalol experienced any prolonged side effects such as orthostatic hypotension. In conclusion, esmolol may produce considerable bradycardia in elderly patients when hypertension is not accompanied by tachycardia. Labetalol was easier to administer in the ambulatory setting and one-tenth the cost of esmolol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-562
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1992

Keywords

  • anaesthesia: geriatric
  • blood pressure: hypertension
  • surgery: ambulatory
  • sympathetic nervous system: pharmacology, esmolol, labetalol

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