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Pretreatment with beta-blockers and the frequency of hypokalemia in patients with acute chest pain

Simpson, E. and Rodger, J.C. and Raj, S.M. and Wong, C. and Wilkie, L. and Robertson, C. (1987) Pretreatment with beta-blockers and the frequency of hypokalemia in patients with acute chest pain. British Heart Journal, 58 (5). pp. 499-504. ISSN 0007-0769

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Abstract

Plasma potassium concentration was measured at admission in 1234 patients who presented with acute chest pain. One hundred and ninety five patients were on P blockers before admission. The potassium concentrations of patients admitted early (within four hours of onset of symptoms) were compared with those admitted later (4-18 hours after onset of symptoms). There was a transient fall in plasma potassium concentrations in patients not pre-treated with ,B blockers. This was not seen in patients who had been on P blockers before admission. Nonselective ,B blockers were more effective than cardioselective agents in maintaining concentrations of plasma potassium. These findings suggest a mechanism for the beneficial effects of ,B blockers on morbidity and mortality in acute myocardial infarction.