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Table 3 Studies comparing beta blockers and calcium channel blockers

From: Treatment strategies for new onset atrial fibrillation in patients treated on an intensive care unit: a systematic scoping review

Authors Sample size and setting Primary diagnosis Study design and risk of bias Intervention Rate control outcome Rhythm control outcome Mortality outcome
Balser et al. (1998) n = 55
n = 28 (esmolol)
n = 27 (diltiazem)
Setting: USA ICU
Noncardiac surgical population RCTa
Risk of bias: Some concerns
Esmolol versus diltiazem Not assessed Within 2 h: NSb
Esmolol: 59%
Diltiazem: 27%
Hospital: NS
Esmolol: 31%
Diltiazem: 38%
Walkey et al. (2016) n = 3,174c (NOAF patients)
Setting: USA
Sepsis Retrospective comparative
Risk of bias: Serious
Beta blockers (metoprolol, esmolol, atenolol, labetalol, propranolol) versus calcium channel blockers (diltiazem, verapamil) Not assessed Not assessed Hospital: RRd 0.99 (95% CI: 0.86–1.15)
Jaffer et al. (2016) (conference abstract) n = 65
Setting: USA ICU
Septic shock Retrospective comparative
Risk of bias: Critical
Beta blockers versus calcium channel blockers (drugs not specified) Not assessed Not assessed NS
McKenzie Brown et al. (2018) n = 33e
n = 22 (beta blockers)
n = 2 (calcium channel blockers)
Setting: USA Surgical ICU
Noncardiac surgical population Retrospective comparative
Risk of bias: critical
Beta blockers versus calcium channel blockers (drugs not specified) Beta blockers: 27%
Calcium channel blockers: 50%
Beta blockers: 27%
Calcium channel blockers: 50%
Not assessed
  1. Randomised controlled trial
  2. Statistically not significant
  3. Includes amiodarone and digoxin groups
  4. Relative risk
  5. Includes amiodarone group and no treatment groups