Depressant effect of digoxin on atrioventricular conduction in man.
We examined the effect of chronically administered digoxin on atrioventricular (A-V) conduction in nine cardiac transplant recipients. We assessed A-V conduction by measuring the duration from the pacing stimulus to the onset of the QRS complex (S'R interval) and by determining the occurrence of Wenckebach periodicity during rapid atrial pacing. We made measurements during a control period and during a period of digoxin administration of up to 37 days. During the digoxin period, the cycle length at which Wenckebach block occurred was prolonged by 14% of the control value and the S'R interval was significantly prolonged at paced rates of 110 beats per minute and faster. After digoxin was discontinued, the Wenckebach periodicity and S'R interval returned to control values. Atropine and propranolol did not alter digoxin's effect on A-V conduction. We conclude that digoxin exerts a direct (or non-neurally mediated) depressant effect upon A-V conduction in man, although the stress of tachycardia is necessary to demonstrate the effect.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association