Prophylactic lidocaine for postoperative coronary artery bypass patients, a double-blind, randomized trial
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This double-blind controlled study examined the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias (premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) greater than 5.min-1, bigeminy, couplets, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation) in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients during the first 24 hr postoperatively to determine the effect of prophylactic lidocaine on reducing the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias. Patients were included in the study if they had undergone CABG only, and had not received treatment for ventricular arrhythmias before coming off cardiopulmonary bypass. A total of 83 patients were studied and were randomly allocated to 43 in the placebo control group and 40 in the lidocaine-treated group. The results showed that 67 per cent of patients in the placebo group and 33 per cent of patients in the lidocaine treated group had ventricular arrhythmias (P less than 0.005). There was also a significant reduction in ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in the lidocaine treated group (P less than 0.01). It is recommended that a routine infusion of lidocaine, 100 mg bolus followed by 2 mg.kg-1, be given to every postoperative coronary artery bypass patient for at least the first 24 hours.
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