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April 17, 1967

Preoperative Use of Atropine and Electrocardiographic Changes: Differentiation of Ischemic From Biliary-Induced Abnormalities

Author Affiliations

From the Cardiovascular Section and Internal Medicine, Harper Hospital, and Wayne State University College of Medicine, Detroit. Dr. Lubera is a fellow in Cardiology at Harper Hospital.

JAMA. 1967;200(3):197-200. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120160063006

There is a frequent coexistence of biliary disease and arteriosclerotic heart disease. Occasionally the electrocardiographic changes are severe and might militate against surgical intervention. Three patients with biliary disease, gallstones, and profound T-wave inversion on the electrocardiogram were given 2 mg of atropine intramuscularly. Marked improvement in the ECG occurred after taking the atropine and the improvement was corroborated by cholecystectomy. Ten other patients with T-wave inversion and ischemic heart disease were also given atropine. In these patients without gallbladder disease, no change occurred.