Effect of digoxin on atioventricular conduction. Studies in patients with and without cardiac autonomic innervation.
The effect of digoxin on atrioventricular (a-v) conduction was compared in five patients with an intact cardiac autonomic nervous system (Group I) and seven patients who had undergone cardiac transplantation (Group II), in whom we have previously shown the transplanted heart to be completely denervated. Small decreases in the atrial effective refractory period (ERP) (from 262 plus or minus 12 to 254 plus or minus 11 msec) and atrial functional refractory period (FRP) (from 304 plus or minus 12 msec) were observed in Group I patients after digoxin, but these changes were not significant. However, significant increases in the A-V nodal ERP (from 315 plus or minus 18 msec to 351 plus or minus 17 msec, P less than 0.05), and A-V nodal FRP (from 426 plus or minus 42 to 460 plus or minus 46 msec, P less than 0.01) were produced by digoxin and were unrelated to changes in cycle length. In Group II patients with denervated hearts, changes in atrial ERP (from 246 plus or minus 4 to 243 plus or minus 6 during spontaneous sinus rhythm; from 204 plus or minus 10 to 216 plus or minus 8 msec during atrial pacing) and atrial FRP (from 311 plus or minus 12 to 316 plus or minus 11 msec during spontaneous sinus rhythm; from 254 plus or minus 12 to 260 plus or minus 10 msec during atrial pacing) were not significant. However, in contrast to the Group I patients, the digoxin-induced changes in A-V nodal ERP (from 280 plus or minus 22 to 297 plus or minus 18 msec during atrial pacing) and FRP (from 368 plus or minus 18 to 377 plus or minus 18 msec during spontaneous sinus rhythm; from 334 plus or minus 13 to 346 plus or minus 16 msec during atrial pacing) were also statistically insignificant. Our results demonstrate that the electrophysiologic effects of digoxin on atrioventricular conduction in man are most marked in the atrioventricular node and are dependent on cardiac innervation
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association