Beta blockers for peripheral arterial disease.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(4):CD005508
Authors: Paravastu SC, Mendonca D, Da Silva A
BACKGROUND: Beta (ss) blockers are indicated for use in coronary artery disease (CAD). However, optimal therapy for people with CAD accompanied by intermittent claudication has been controversial due to the presumed peripheral haemodynamic consequences of beta blockers, leading to worsening symptoms of intermittent claudication. OBJECTIVES: To quantify the potential harm of beta blockers on maximum walking distance, claudication distance, calf blood flow, calf vascular resistance, and skin temperature when used in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). SEARCH STRATEGY: The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases (PVD) Group searched for publications describing randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of beta blockers in PAD in their Trials Register (last searched 6 May 2008) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (last searched The Cochrane Library 2008, Issue 2). We handsearched relevant journals and conference proceedings. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials evaluating the role of both selective (beta1) and non-selective (beta1 and beta2) beta blockers compared with placebo. We excluded trials comparing different types of beta blockers. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Primary outcome measures were claudication distance in metres, and the time to claudication in minutes, and maximum walking distance in metres and minutes (as assessed by treadmill).Secondary outcome measures were calf blood flow (ml/100 ml/min), calf vascular resistance, and skin temperature (degrees C). MAIN RESULTS: We included six RCTs fulfilling the above criteria, with a total of 119 patients. The beta blockers studied were atenolol, propranolol, pindolol, and metoprolol. None of the trials showed a statistically significant worsening effect of beta blockers on either the primary or secondary outcomes. There were no reports of any adverse events with the beta blockers studied. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is currently no evidence that beta blockers adversely affect walking distance in people with intermittent claudication. However, due to the lack of large published trials beta blockers should be used with caution if clinically indicated.
PMID: 18843692 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]