Achieving ventricular rate control using metoprolol inβ-blocker–naive patients vs patients on chronicβ-blocker therapy☆

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Study objective:

The objective of the study is to evaluate the difference in ventricular rate control using an intravenous (IV) metoprolol regimen commonly used in clinical practice in patients receiving chronic β-blocker therapy compared to patients considered β-blocker naive admitted to the emergency department (ED) for atrial fibrillation (AF) with rapid ventricular rate.


A single-center retrospective cohort study of adult ED patients who were admitted with a rapid ventricular rate of 120 beats per minute (bpm) or greater and treated with IV metoprolol was performed. Rate control was defined as either a decrease in ventricular rate to less than 100 bpm or a 20% decrease in heart rate to less than 120 bpm after metoprolol administration. Patient demographics, differences in length of stay, and adverse events were recorded.


A total of 398 patients were included in the study, with 79.4% (n = 316) receiving chronic β-blocker therapy. Patients considered to be β-blocker naive were more likely to achieve successful rate control with IV metoprolol compared to patients on chronic β-blocker therapy (56.1% vs 42.4%; P = .03). β-Blocker–naive status was associated with a shorter length of stay in comparison to patients receiving chronic β-blocker therapy (1.79 vs 2.64 days; P < .01).


Intravenous metoprolol for the treatment of atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular rate was associated with a higher treatment response in patients considered β-blocker naive compared to patients receiving chronic β-blocker therapy.

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