Adverse cardiac outcomes continue to be an important cause of perioperative morbidity and mortality in the non-cardiac surgery. This is related to the high prevalence of coronary artery disease in the aging surgical population. Beta-blockers were proved useful and efficacious in the treatment of perioperative myocardial ischaemia and arrhythmia. Early studies suggested that the prophylactic perioperative beta-blockade could also reduce perioperative and long-term morbidity and mortality. The administration of beta-blockers to patients with coronary artery disease or with risk factors who undergo major noncardiac surgery is now recommended in the published guidelines. However, one recent meta-analysis and several new studies have not confirmed the postulated beneficial effects of perioperative betablockade and gave rise to an animated controversy. Until the finalization of ongoing large trials in the next two years, the decision to start prophylactic perioperative beta-blockade remains at the discretion of the responsible physicians. This decision should be based on the patient's risk, the type of surgery and on the consideration of potential interactions and side-effects of the selected beta-blocker.