Background & objective: The elderly esophageal cancer patients undergoing esophagectomy are increasing now. How to protect their cardiac functions and reduce perioperative mortality and morbidity of cardiac events is an urgent problem to be solved. Prophylactic beta-blockers have been recently applied during surgery. This study was to evaluate the beneficial effects of metoprolol on perioperative cardiac function of elderly esophageal cancer patients.
Methods: The esophageal cancer patients, no less than 65 years old, scheduled for elective esophagectomy were enrolled, and randomized into metoprolol group and control group. The patients of metoprolol group received metoprolol to control heart rate from anesthesia induction to 72 h after operation. Perioperative hemodynamic data were recorded at time points of baseline, drug administration, 2 min after induction, intubation, 4 min after intubation, incision, thoracic exposure, 60 min after incision, 10 min before the completion of operation, the completion of operation, extubation, and 15 min after extubation. The serum level of cardiac troponin T (cTnT), the occurrence of perioperative cardiac events and postoperative sinus tachycardia were also recorded.
Results: Compared with preoperative values, systolic arterial pressure was significantly higher at intubation (P<0.05), heart rate was significantly faster at intubation and extubation (P<0.05) in control group; while the hemodynamic data had no obvious changes in metoprolol group (P>0.05). The serum level of cTnT was elevated in 3 patients of control group within 3 days after operation, and remained normal in all patients of metoprolol group (P=0.237); cardiac events occurred in 6 patients of control group (including 2 cases of myocardial ischemia and 4 cases of atrial fibrillation), but didn't occur in metoprolol group (P=0.024). No myocardial infarction and death occurred in the 2 groups during operation. The occurrence rate of tachycardia was significantly higher in control group than in metoprolol group (15 cases vs. 6 cases, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Metoprolol can reduce the occurrence of perioperative cardiac events and postoperative tachycardia in the elderly esophageal cancer patients undergoing esophagectomy, and restrain the effects of tracheal intubation or extubation on heart rate and blood pressure.