What is the role of beta-blockers in the treatment of coronary artery atherosclerosis?

Updated: Apr 09, 2021
  • Author: Sandy N Shah, DO, MBA, FACC, FACP, FACOI; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP  more...
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Answer

Beta-blockers inhibit sympathetic stimulation of the heart, reducing heart rate and contractility; this can decrease myocardial oxygen demand and thus prevent or relieve angina in patients with CAD. Since beta-blockers reduce the heart rate–blood pressure product during exercise, the onset of angina or the ischemic threshold during exercise is delayed or avoided. All types of beta-blockers appear to be equally effective in the treatment of exertional angina. The ACC and AHA recommend beta-blockers, unless contraindicated, in all patients with stable angina who have had an ACS or who have left ventricular dysfunction.


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