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July 1989

Calcium Channel Blockers in Myocardial Infarction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. Dr Skolnick is now with the Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(7):1669-1677. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390070171030

• Calcium channel blockers are currently approved for use in patients with arrhythmias, stable and unstable angina pectoris, and systemic hypertension. The hemodynamic and electrophysiologic properties of these agents suggest that their use would be appropriate in both the immediate and the long-term management of patients who suffered a myocardial infarction. Some experimental evidence accumulated from animal models supports the ability of these drugs to reduce both myocardial infarct size and the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias. The clinical trials with these drugs, however, have yielded disappointing results. Some data suggest a role of diltiazem therapy in reducing the incidence of transmural wall infarction and angina in those patients sustaining non–Q-wave myocardial infarctions. In the setting of Q-wave infarction, calcium channel blockers seem to be less effective than β-blockade both for acute and long-term management. Finally, calcium channel blockers appear to be contraindicated in patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction and who have concomitant left ventricular dysfunction.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1669-1677)

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