Influence of temperature on in vitro metabolism of esmolol

J. A. Melendez, J. G. Stone, E. Delphin, C. Y. Quon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Esmolol has been used to improve hemodynamic stability during sternotomy and aortic manipulation for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. In order to investigate the alterations of esmolol metabolism by hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), the effect of temperature on the metabolism of esmolol in vitro was determined. Samples of human whole blood were combined with esmolol solution (50 μg/mL in 0.9 mol/L NaCI) and incubated at 4°C, 15°C, 25°C, and 37°C. Aliquots were sampled at 1. 5.10.15, 30. 60, and 120 minutes; esmolol concentration was determined using high-pressure liquid chromatography. There was a temperature-dependent decrease in the degradation of esmolol. The half-life for esmolol in human blood was 19.6 ± 3.8 minutes at 37°C, 47 ± 10.1 minutes at 25°C, 152 ± 46.6 minutes at 15°C, and 226.7 ± 60.1 minutes at 4°C. This study clearly shows marked reduction of esmolol metabolism with hypothermia possibly leading to persistent β-adrenergic blockade following the discontinuation of CPB. Persistent β-blockade may provide additional protection to the ischemic myocardium during hypothermic arrest and/or result in difficulty in weaning from CPB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-706
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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