Cardioversion and Digitalis
IV. Effect of Beta Adrenergic Blockade
Experiments were performed in anesthetized dogs to study some effects of propranolol, dextro-propranolol and ICI50,172 on digitalis-induced arrhythmias and digitalis-induced sensitization to electrical shock. When given in beta-blocking doses, propranolol did not abbreviate ouabain-induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) or decrease ouabain-induced sensitization to electrical shock. In larger doses, propranolol first controlled the arrhythmia without affecting shock sensitivity and then abolished both arrhythmia and shock sensitivity. Dextro-propranolol, a compound with nonspecific antiarrhythmic action equal to that of propranolol but with virtually no beta-blocking effect, abolished shock sensitivity, whereas ICI50,172, a pure beta-blocking agent, did not. Beta-blocking doses of propranolol given to dogs bordering on digitalis toxicity but in normal sinus rhythm caused recurrence of sustained ventricular tachycardia. Reappearance of toxicity appeared to be related to a propranolol-induced decrease in heart rate, since it was averted during continuous electrical pacing of the atrium and reversed by isoproterenol administration.
- © 1969 American Heart Association, Inc.