Reappraisal of β-blocker therapy in the acute and chronic post-myocardial infarction period

Francesco Borrello*, Maribeth Beahan, Liviu Klein, Mihai Gheorghiade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction (MI), the early use of intravenous β-blockade followed by short-term oral administration in the absence of reperfusion therapy has shown a modest reduction in mortality. In contrast, major reductions in mortality and reinfarction have been shown when β-blockers have been used soon after an acute MI and continued long-term. These benefits were observed in trials conducted in the 1970s and 1980s, prior to the widespread use of reperfusion therapies, antiplatelet agents, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; those trials excluded patients with postischemic heart failure. Recently, the CAPRICORN trial has shown a significant reduction in all-cause mortality and reinfarction in post-MI patients with systolic dysfunction, in response to carvedilol. In spite of compelling evidence supporting the use of β-blockers in the post-MI setting, data published by the National Cooperative Cardiovascular Project have shown that fewer than half of all post-MI patients receive β-blockers as long-term therapy. It appears that post-MI patients with perceived contraindications, such as advanced age, diabetes, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and/or chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, may derive a substantial benefit from the use of β-blockers. Given the considerable evidence from randomized clinical trials, the use of β-blockers is recommended in all post-MI patients without a contraindication, particularly in those with left ventricular systolic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReviews in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Oct 16 2003


  • Myocardial infarction
  • Β-Blocker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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