There is no standard dose or protocol for beta-blocker administration as preconditioning in children undergoing coronary CT angiography.
A total of 63 consecutive patients, with a mean age of 10.0±3.1 years, who underwent coronary CT angiography to assess possible coronary complications were enrolled in a single-centre, retrospective study. All patients were given an oral beta-blocker 1 hour before coronary CT angiography. Additional oral beta-blocker or intravenous beta-blocker was given to those with a high heart rate. We compared image quality, radiation exposure, and adverse events among the patients without additional beta-blocker, with additional oral beta-blocker, and with additional intravenous beta-blocker.
There were no significant differences in image quality or radiation exposure among the groups. The heart rate just before scanning was significantly correlated with image quality (p<0.001, r=−0.533) but was not correlated with radiation exposure (p=0.45, r=0.096). There were no adverse events related to any allergic reaction, thereby showing the effectiveness of the beta-blocker.
Initial oral beta-blocker administration (0.8 mg/kg/dose) should be administered to all children undergoing coronary CT angiography. Additional intravenous beta-blocker should be given to those with poor heart rate control to improve image quality without increasing radiation exposure or allowing adverse events.