Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The effects of beta-blockade to prevent autonomic disorders after acute aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage were prospectively investigated. 11 patients were treated with the beta-1-selective beta-blocker metoprolol (up to 200 mg/die intravenously). 14 patients received standard therapy as controls. Pulse rate, blood pressure and dosage of the additional antihypertensive medication as signs of sympathetic disturbance were registered. The main result was the normalizing of the pulse rate especially during the first two weeks in contrast to the control group. The patients in the beta-blocker group did not need further antihypertensive medication. This was mainly a result of the reduction in sympathetic activation. No severe side-effects were documented and the survival was better in the treated group. Thus, beta-blockade is able to prevent and reduce autonomic disorders, especially activation of the sympathetic tone, in subarachnoid haemorrhage. Metoprolol as a so called cardioselective beta-blocker seems to be one of the suitable agents and is considered superior to the non-selective agents.
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