Cardiac Necrosis Accompanying Potassium Deficiency and Administration of Corticosteroids
Rats were given distilled water or subjected to a load of 50 mM of either NaH2PO4 or Na2HPO4/liter in drinking water while on a diet low in sodium, potassium, and chloride for 12 to 14 days. The drinking water was modified by addition of either 20 mM of potassium chloride, 20 mM of sodium chloride or 20 mEq of magnesium chloride/liter or a combination of the salts. The effects of hydro-cortisone, desoxycorticosterone and 2 alpha methyl 9 alpha fluorocortisol were also tested. Serum, muscle, and heart were analyzed for electrolytes.
Both Na2HPO4 and NaH2PO4 induced met-abolic alkalosis, decrease in muscle potassium, increase of intracellular sodium and slight decrease in heart potassium. Necrosis of heart muscle was associated with metabolic alkalosis, loss of muscle potassium and high intracellular sodium. The lesions and tissue changes are aggravated by the mineral ocorticoids but not hydrocortisone. Adding potassium chloride but not magnesium chloride decreased or prevented the lesions and changes in tissue composition.
- Received May 23, 1963.
- © 1963 American Heart Association, Inc.