Use of atropine in patients with acute myocardial infarction and sinus bradycardia.
Fifty-six patients with acute myocardial infarction complicated by sinus bradycardia (SB) were treated with intravenous atropine and monitored in a coronary care unit. Atropine decreased or completely abolished premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and/or bouts of accelerated idioventricular rhythm in 27 of 31 patients (87%) and brought systemic blood pressure up to normal in 15 of 17 patients (88%) with hypotension. In addition, atropine administration was associated with improved atrioventricular conduction in 11 of 13 patients (85%) with acute inferior myocardial infarction associated with 2 degrees or 3 degrees atrioventricular block. Seven patients developed ten significant adverse effects: ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation in three, sustainedsinus tachycardia in three, increased PVCs in three, and toxic psychosis in one. These major adverse effects correlated with either a higher initial dose of atropine (i.e., 1.0 mg aa compared with the usual 0.5 or 0.6 mg) or a total cumulative dose exceeding 2.5 mg over 21/2 hours. Atropine is the drug of choice for management of patients with SB and hypotension and is effective in the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias as well as conduction disturbances in patients with inferior myocardial infarction. Serious adverse effects, however, preclude use of atropine without careful medical supervision.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association