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Article
October 1938

ACTION OF DIGITALIS IN COMPENSATED HEART DISEASE

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the New York Hospital and the Department of Medicine, Cornell University Medical College.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1938;62(4):547-568. doi:10.1001/archinte.1938.00180150003001
Abstract

A report1 has already been made concerning certain effects on the circulation caused by the giving of therapeutic amounts of digitalis to normal persons and to patients suffering from organic heart disease who exhibit signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure. In the case of the normal heart, the action of digitalis was to decrease its size and the volume of its output of blood per minute;1 in the case of the enlarged heart, whether the rhythm was regular or that of auricular fibrillation, the action was to decrease its size and to increase its output of blood per minute.2 There was one action of digitalis which was common to the normal and to the enlarged heart, namely, the effect on size, which was to decrease it. We were led, then, to the notion that this action was an essential one and that the cardiac output which

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