Patients with or at risk for heart disease who take the anti-hypertensive drug clonidine before non-cardiac surgery can significantly reduce the risk of complications and death due to inadequate blood flow to the heart, according to a study by UCSF researchers at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The findings add a second drug to the list of inexpensive preventive measures available to these patients before non-cardiac surgery. In 1998 the same UCSF/SFVAMC researchers identified the beta blocker atenolol as an effective preventive measure for this patient group. The clonidine research is reported in the August 2004 issue of the journal Anesthesiology.
"In the earlier study we found an inexpensive way to reduce the incidence of death due to surgery. Now we have found another drug to do the same thing," said lead researcher Arthur Wallace, MD, PhD, UCSF associate professor of anesthesia and perioperative care and staff anesthesiologist at the SFVAMC.
Joan Aragone | EurekAlert!
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