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July 1969

Effect of Bretylium Tosylate on Ventricular Fibrillation Threshold

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Physiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(1):95-100. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300170097019

Ventricular fibrillation is a catastrophic event which may complicate many types of cardiac disorders: heart surgery, anesthesia, hypothermia, advanced pulmonary disease, and electrolyte disturbances. It has been estimated that one half of the sudden deaths after an acute myocardial infarction are due to ventricular fibrillation.1 The prevention and treatment of ventricular fibrillation is one of the most urgent unsolved problems facing clinical medicine.

In a previous report it was shown that bretylium tosylate reduced the vulnerability of the dog heart to ventricular fibrillation induced by rapid trains of electrical shocks delivered to the left ventricle.2 This method of study is not optimal for precise quantitative evaluation of ventricular vulnerability to fibrillation in response to drugs or other types of intervention (such as myocardial infarction) that might alter cardiac vulnerability.

The present report presents the results of studies on the effect of bretylium on fibrillation threshold by the method