The physiologic effects of digoxin under steady-state drug conditions in newborn and adult sheep.
The physiologic response to the chronic administration of digoxin was studied in 12 adult and 13 newborn sheep. Vascular pressures, cardiac output, isovolumic contraction phase indexes and systolic time intervals were measured before and after 2 weeks of digoxin therapy. Physiologic measurements were correlated with drug levels in plasma and myocardium. Resting myocardial function in newborns exceeded that in ewes. In ewes, the heart rate decreased from 98 to 74 beats/min, the preejection period (PEP) decreased from 76 to 57 msec, the ratio of PEP to left ventricular ejection time (LVET) decreased from 0.323 to 0.223 and dP/dt max increased from 2415 to 3460 mm Hg . sec-1 as plasma concentrations of digoxin increased to a mean of 1.8 ng/ml. Although the final steady-state plasma concentration of digoxin in newborn lambs averaged 1.7 ng/ml, cardiac output, PEP, PEP/LVET and dP/dt max did not change significantly from baseline values. These studies suggest that developmental differences in the physiologic response to digoxin are due either to a limited capacity for improvement in myocardial contractility shortly after birth or to an age-related difference in the effect of digoxin on myocardial tissue.
- Copyright © 1980 by American Heart Association