Rationale for the Assessment of Metoprolol in the Prevention of Vasovagal Syncope in Aging Subjects Trial (POST5)
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BACKGROUND: Vasovagal syncope (VVS) is a common problem associated with a poor quality of life, which improves when syncope frequency is reduced. Effective pharmacological therapies for VVS are lacking. Metoprolol is a β-adrenergic receptor antagonist that is ineffective in younger patients, but may benefit older (≥40 years) VVS patients. Given the limited therapeutic options, a placebo-controlled clinical trial of metoprolol for the prevention of VVS in older patients is needed. STRUCTURE OF STUDY: The POST5 is a multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled study of metoprolol in the prevention of VVS in patients ≥40 years old. The primary endpoint is the time to first recurrence of syncope. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to receive metoprolol 25 to 100 mg BID or matching placebo, and followed up for 1 year. Secondary end points include syncope frequency, presyncope, quality of life, and cost analysis. Primary analysis will be intention to treat, with a secondary on-treatment analysis. POWER CALCULATIONS: A sample size of 222, split equally between the groups achieves 85% power to detect a hazard rate of 0.3561 when the event rates are 50% and 30% in the placebo and metoprolol arms. Allowing for 10% dropout, we propose to enroll 248 patients. IMPLICATIONS: This study will be the first adequately powered trial to determine whether metoprolol is effective in preventing VVS in patients ≥40 years. If effective, metoprolol may become the first line pharmacological therapy for these patients.
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