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Esmolol for Heart Rate Control in Septic Shock

Septic shock is associated with the excessive sympathetic stress associated with a number of adverse physiological effects, ranging from myocardial depression to immunosuppression. Morelli and colleagues from the Sapienza University of Rome conducted a study to determine whether administration of a short-acting beta-adrenoreceptor blocker, esmolol, could reduce heart rate to a target range of 80 to 94 beats per minute (bpm) in patients with septic shock. The physiologic consequences of heart rate reduction were also examined, as well as secondary clinical outcomes.

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