One of the most spectacular medical discoveries of recent years is the effect which alkaloids of cinchona have on certain hearts presenting the phenomenon of auricular fibrillation.
Quinin has been used for many years as a heart sedative, but its use specifically in auricular fibrillation dates from a report of two cases published in 1914 by Wenckebach1 in which its administration resulted in the restitution of sinus rhythm.
As a result of his studies of the effect of various alkaloids of cinchona on patients suffering from auricular fibrillation, Frey2 came to the conclusion that quinidin was the least toxic and the most potent of these derivations, and because of its better solubility he advised the use of the sulphate instead of the pure alkaloid.
Since Frey's paper in 1918 there have appeared in the literature the reports of more than 300 cases of auricular fibrillation treated with quinidin. In about
HART TS. QUINIDIN IN AURICULAR FIBRILLATION: WITH SOME OBSERVATIONS ON ITS USE IN COMBINATION WITH DIGITALIS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1922;30(5):593–605. doi:10.1001/archinte.1922.00110110064007
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