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QT interval of the ECG, heart rate and arterial pressure during anaesthetic induction: comparative effects of alfentanil and esmolol.

Author(s): Korpinen R, Saarnivaara L, Siren K

Affiliation(s): Department of Anaesthesia, Otolaryngological Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

Publication date & source: 1995-08, Acta Anaesthesiol Scand., 39(6):809-13.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

In a double-blind study the effect of esmolol and alfentanil on the QT interval of the ECG corrected by the heart rate (QTc), heart rate and arterial pressure during anaesthetic induction was studied in 59 oxycodone- and atropine-premedicated ASA class I-(II) patients with a mean age of 26 yr (range 15-50 yr). The patients were randomly allocated to one of the four groups: saline, esmolol 2 mg.kg-1, esmolol 3 mg.kg-1 or alfentanil 0.03 mg.kg-1. Both doses of esmolol prevented the prolongation of the QTc interval after thiopental and suxamethonium, but not after laryngoscopy and intubation. Alfentanil prevented the prolongation of the QTc interval following thiopental, suxamethonium and laryngoscopy but not after intubation. Esmolol did not prevent the increase in the heart rate and arterial pressure in response to laryngoscopy and intubation. No cardiovascular responses to laryngoscopy and intubation occurred in the patients treated with alfentanil. No cardiac arrhythmias occurred in the esmolol 3 mg.kg-1 group, whereas the frequency of ventricular ectopic beats was 40% in the saline group and 13-20% in the other groups.

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