Background: The use of ultrashort-acting β1-blockers recently has attracted attention in septic patients with non-compensatory tachycardia. We summarized the metabolic and hemodynamic effects and the clinical evidence of ultrashort-acting β1-blockers. Main body: A recent meta-analysis showed that ultrashort-acting β1-blockers reduced the mortality in septic patients with persistent tachycardia. However, its mechanism to improve mortality is not fully understood yet. We often use lactate as a marker of oxygen delivery, but an impaired oxygen use rather than reduced oxygen delivery has been recently proposed as a more reasonable explanation of hyperlactatemia in patients with sepsis, leading to a question of whether β1-blockers affect metabolic systems. While the stimulation of the β2-receptor accelerates glycolysis and lactate production, the role of β1-blocker in lactate production remains unclear and studies investigating the role of β1-blockers in lactate kinetics are warranted. A meta-analysis also reported that ultrashort-acting β1-blockers increased stroke volume index, while it reduced heart rate, resulting in unchanged cardiac index, mean arterial pressure, and norepinephrine requirement at 24 h, leading to an improvement of cardiovascular efficiency. On the other hand, a recent study reported that heart rate reduction using fast esmolol titration in the very early phase of septic shock caused hemodynamic instability, suggesting that ultrashort-acting β1-blockers should be started only after completing initial resuscitation. While many clinicians still do not feel comfortable controlling sinus tachycardia, one randomized controlled trial in which the majority had sinus tachycardia suggested the mortality benefit of ultrashort-acting β1-blockers. Therefore, it still deems to be reasonable to control sinus tachycardia with ultrashort-acting β1-blockers after completing initial resuscitation. Conclusion: Accumulating evidence is supporting the use of ultrashort-acting β1-blockers while larger randomized controlled trials to clarify the effect of ultrashort-acting β1-blockers are still warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine