Reduction in infarct size, arrhythmias and chest pain by early intravenous beta blockade in suspected acute myocardial infarction.
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Four hundred seventy-seven patients suspected of having had acute myocardial infarction within less than 12 hours were randomized to receive i.v. atenolol followed by oral treatment for 10 days or to a control group. In patients with ECG changes indicative of infarction at entry, i.v. atenolol significantly reduced enzyme release by one-third and enhanced R-wave preservation. In patients without such ECG changes, treatment significantly prevented the development of infarction in a proportion of patients. There was also a significant reduction in R-on-T ectopics, repetitive ventricular arrhythmias and supraventricular arrhythmias. Treated patients had significantly greater pain relief and required fewer opiate analgesics. Significantly fewer atenolol-treated patients died by 10 days (the treatment period), had nonfatal cardiac arrests, developed heart failure, or suffered reinfarction.
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