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.
- acute chest pain