Hemodynamic and electrophysiological actions of cocaine. Effects of sodium bicarbonate as an antidote in dogs.
BACKGROUND Cocaine abuse has been implicated as a cause of death due to sudden cardiac arrest.
METHODS AND RESULTS We examined the hemodynamic and electrophysiological effects of cocaine administered as a series of 5-mg/kg i.v. boluses coupled with a continuous infusion in anesthetized dogs. Sodium bicarbonate (50 meq i.v.) was administered as a potential antidote in 11 of 15 dogs, and intravenous 5% dextrose was given in the remaining four. In a dose-dependent fashion, cocaine significantly decreased blood pressure, coronary blood flow, and cardiac output; increased PR, QRS, QT, and QTc intervals and sinus cycle length; and increased ventricular effective refractory period and dispersion of ventricular refractoriness. No afterdepolarizations were noted in the monophasic action potential recording. Nonsustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia occurred spontaneously in two dogs, and sustained ventricular tachycardia could be induced by programmed stimulation at the end of the dosing protocol in five of 11 animals. Sodium bicarbonate promptly decreased cocaine-induced QRS prolongation to nearly that measured at baseline but had no effect on the other electrocardiographic or hemodynamic variables. In one dog, sodium bicarbonate administration was associated with reversion of ventricular tachycardia to sinus rhythm.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that high-dose cocaine possesses negative inotropic and potent type I electrophysiological effects. Sodium bicarbonate selectively reversed cocaine-induced QRS prolongation and may be a useful treatment of ventricular arrhythmias associated with slowed ventricular conduction in the setting of cocaine overdose.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association