Comparison of Nicardipine Versus Esmolol in Attenuating the Hemodynamic Responses to Anesthesia Emergence and Extubation

Anthony L. Kovac, Amy Masiongale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of intravenous (IV) nicardipine versus esmolol in controlling heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) responses to emergence and extubation. Design: Prospective, randomized, double blind. Setting: University hospital, single institution. Participants: Twenty-two American Society of Anesthesiologists physical class 1 to 3 adult inpatients scheduled for general anesthesia. Interventions: General endotracheal anesthesia with oxygen/isoflurane and muscle relaxation. At end of surgery, with at least 2 twitches by nerve stimulator and end-tidal isoflurane <0.4%, muscle relaxant reversal was accomplished with neostigmine and glycopyrrolate. Two minutes postreversal, the IV study drug nicardipine, 0.03 mg/kg, or esmolol, 1.5 mg/kg, was administered. HR and BP were measured every minute up to 10 minutes and at minute 15 postreversal. Measurements and Main Results: There were no significant differences between groups in age, weight, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical class or preoperative hemodynamics (HR, BP, mean arterial pressure [MAP]). Compared with nicardipine, 0.03 mg/kg IV, esmolol, 1.5 mg/kg IV, significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated HR more than nicardipine for the 15-minute time period poststudy drug. Compared with esmolol, nicardipine was significantly (p < 0.05) more effective in controlling MAP and systolic BP for the 1- to 3-minute and diastolic BP for the 1- to 2-minute time periods poststudy drug. There were no episodes of hypotension or adverse events. Conclusions: Although esmolol, 1.5 mg/kg, IV was more effective than nicardipine, 0.03 mg/kg, IV for attenuating the HR response to extubation, nicardipine was more effective in controlling the BP response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • β-blocker
  • blood pressure
  • calcium channel blocker
  • emergence
  • esmolol
  • extubation
  • heart rate
  • hemodynamics
  • mean arterial pressure
  • nicardipine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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