Pretreatment with beta-blockers and the frequency of hypokalemia in patients with acute chest pain

Elliott Simpson, J. Christine Rodger, S. Mahendra Raj, Chris Wong, Laura Wilkie, Christopher Robertson

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Plasma potassium concentration was measured at admission in 1234 patients who presented with acute chest pain. One hundred and ninety five patients were on P blockers before admission. The potassium concentrations of patients admitted early (within four hours of onsetof symptoms) were compared with those admitted later (4-18 hours after onset of symptoms). There was a transient fall in plasma potassium concentrations in patients not pre-treated with , B blockers. This was not seen in patients who had been on P blockers before admission. Nonselective, B blockers were more effective than cardioselective agents in maintaining concentrationsof plasma potassium. These findings suggest a mechanism for the beneficial effects of ,B blockers on morbidity and mortality in acute myocardial infarction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-504
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Heart Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1987


  • beta-blockers
  • hypokalemia
  • acute chest pain

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