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Hemodynamic comparison of intravenous push diltiazem versus metoprolol for atrial fibrillation rate control

      Highlights

      • IVP diltiazem versus metoprolol for atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular rate.
      • Hypotension and blood pressure reduction were similar between agents.
      • Rate control was achieved more often with diltiazem.
      • Fixed diltiazem dosing was commonly used and likely impacted outcomes.

      Abstract

      Objective

      Intravenous push (IVP) diltiazem and metoprolol are commonly used for management of atrial fibrillation (AF) with rapid ventricular rate (RVR) in the emergency department (ED). This study's objective was to determine if there was a significant difference in blood pressure reduction between agents.

      Methods

      This was a single-center, retrospective study of adult patients initially treated with IVP diltiazem or metoprolol in the ED from 2008 to 2018. Primary endpoint was mean reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP) from baseline to nadir during the study period. Study period was defined as time from first dose of IVP intervention to 30 min after last dose of IVP intervention or first dose of maintenance therapy, whichever came first.

      Results

      A total of 63 diltiazem patients and 45 metoprolol patients met eligibility criteria. Baseline characteristics were similar except for initial ventricular rate (VR) and home beta-blocker use. Median dose of initial intervention was 10 [10−20] mg and 5 [5–5] mg for diltiazem and metoprolol respectively. Mean SBP reduction was 18 ± 22 mmHg for diltiazem compared to 14 ± 15 mmHg for metoprolol (p = .33). Clinically relevant hypotension was similar between groups 14% vs. 16% (p = .86). Rate control was achieved in 35 (56%) of the diltiazem group and 16 (36%) of the metoprolol group (p = .04).

      Conclusion

      IVP diltiazem and metoprolol caused similar SBP reduction and hypotension when used for initial management of AF with RVR in the ED. However, rate control was achieved more often with diltiazem.

      Keywords

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