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Editor's Correspondence
February 14, 2005

Are β-Blockers Useful to Protect High-Risk Patients Scheduled for Open Cholecystectomy?

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(3):348. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.3.348-a

We read with great interest the article by Siddiqui et al1 regarding the underutilization of β-blockers during the perioperative period. The authors have evaluated the frequency of perioperative use of β-blockers in patients scheduled for open cholecystectomy. They found that 70% of patients eligible for β-blockers did not receive these medications during the perioperative period. While there is no doubt about the interest of β-blockade in reducing perioperative cardiac events in high-risk patients scheduled for major noncardiac surgery, the advantage of β-blockers remains controversial in patients scheduled for intermediate or low-risk surgery. Morbidity and mortality after open cholecystectomy have been studied extensively. One relatively recent study with more than 40 000 patients showed a low risk of cardiac morbidity and mortality (<1%) after this procedure.2

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