The potential beneficial effects of beta adrenergic blockade in the treatment of ventricular fibrillation
Papadimitriou, Lila J.
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Cardiac arrest remains a major medical emergency in Western societies, with ventricular fibrillation being the initial rhythm in a significant proportion of cases. Adrenaline is generally accepted to improve the resuscitation outcome, since it improves coronary and cerebral blood flow during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but several detrimental effects have been associated with its use, most of which are thought to be mediated by its beta adrenergic properties. Several animal studies suggest that beta adrenergic blockade during resuscitation, is associated with increased rates of resuscitation and improved post-resuscitation myocardial function. This article reviews the presence and function of β-adrenoceptor subtypes in the intact and diseased human myocardium, as well as the differences observed in β1- and β2 adrenoceptor subtypes in different species.