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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 424308, 6 pages
Review Article

Is It Time to Beta Block the Septic Patient?

1Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Mindelsohn Way, Birmingham B15 2GW, UK
2Department of Infection and Inflammation, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, The Old Schools, Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
4College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

Received 13 March 2015; Accepted 18 May 2015

Academic Editor: Elizabeth Papathanassoglou

Copyright © 2015 Philip Pemberton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Beta blockers are some of the most studied drugs in the pharmacopoeia. They are already widely used in medicine for treating hypertension, chronic heart failure, tachyarrhythmias, and tremor. Whilst their use in the immediate perioperative patient has been questioned, the use of esmolol in the patients with established septic shock has been recently reported to have favourable outcomes. In this paper, we review the role of the adrenergic system in sepsis and the evidence for the use of beta stimulation and beta blockers from animal models to critically ill patients.