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Randomised comparison of the effects of nicardipine and esmolol on coronary artery wall stress: implications for the risk of plaque rupture.

Author(s): Williams MJ, Low CJ, Wilkins GT, Stewart RA

Affiliation(s): Department of Medicine, University of Otago, 201 Great King Street, Dunedin, New Zealand. michael.williams@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Publication date & source: 2000-10, Heart., 84(4):377-82.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the beta blocker esmolol reduces coronary artery wall stress more than the short acting dihydropyridine calcium antagonist nicardipine. DESIGN: Randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. SETTING: Tertiary cardiology centre. PATIENTS: Patients with coronary artery disease. INTERVENTIONS: 20 patients were randomised double blind to an infusion of nicardipine (n = 10) or esmolol (n = 10) titrated to reduce systolic blood pressure by 20 mm Hg. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Peak systolic wall circumferential stress. RESULTS: Esmolol reduced peak coronary stress by a mean of 0.17 x 10(6) dyn/cm(2) (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14 to 0.21 x 10(6) dyn/cm(2)) compared with a reduction of 0.07 x 10(6) dyn/cm(2) (95% CI 0.05 to 0.10 x 10(6) dyn/cm(2)) after nicardipine. Peak systolic radius was reduced by 0.04 mm (95% CI 0.03 to 0.06 mm) after esmolol compared with an increase of 0.08 mm (95% CI 0.05 to 0.10 mm) after nicardipine. Heart rate increased by 11.5 beats/min (95% CI 6.9 to 16.2 beats/min) after nicardipine and decreased by 5.3 beats/min (95% CI 1.9 to 8.6 beats/min) after esmolol. CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous esmolol is more effective than nicardipine at reducing circumferential coronary artery wall stress.

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