Influence of Induced Hypothermia on Digitalis Toxicity
Toxic doses of ouabain were injected in animals which were subsequently cooled. The mortality- in this group was compared to that of similarly treated controls. Lowering of body- temperature by 8 to 12 C. reduced the arrhythmias produced by the toxic doses of ouabain but did not alter the overall incidence of mortality from ventricular fibrillation when compared to the controls. However, cooled animals survived for considerably longer periods of time than the normothermic controls. It is concluded that subsequently induced hypothermia does not afford an effective protection from digitalis toxicity, even though arrhythmias are reduced and survival is prolonged. These results support the hypothesis that partial protection from ventricular arrhythmias is not necessarily associated with, protection from lethal ventricular fibrillation.
Dr. E. T. Angelakos is a U. S. Public Health Service Senior Fellow SF-457.
- Received July 10, 1961.
- © 1961 American Heart Association, Inc.