Effects of Verapamil on Ventricular Tachycardia Induced by Ouabain in Guinea Pigs


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9 Scopus citations


Calcium ions appear to play a central role in the development of ventricular arrhythmias associated with digitalis intoxication. Therefore, the effects of the calcium channel antagonist, verapamil, on ouabain‐induced ventricular tachycardia were investigated. Ventricular tachycardia (three or more consecutive wide QRS complexes) was induced in guinea pigs by intravenous infusion of ouabain (1 μg/ min) and bursts of rapid ventricular stimulation. Of seven guinea pigs given the infusion of ouabain, all developed ventricular tachycardia at a dose of 82 ± 17 μg/kg (mean ± SD) and none developed heart block or asystole. Eight guinea pigs were treated with verapamil (2 μg/min for 30 minutes) prior to exposure to ouabain. Of those eight animals, only two developed ventricular tachycardia but six developed heart block or asystole at a significanlly higher dose of ouabain (154 ± 47 μg/kg), None of three control guinea pigs given an infusion of normal saline for 90 minutes developed ventricular tachycardia. These results show that pretreatmenf with verapamil inhibits ouabain‐induced ventricular tachycardia in guinea pigs. Combined treatment with verapamil and ouabain is associated with a high incidence of heart block and asystole, which may limit the usefulness of verapamil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • afterdepolarizations
  • heart block
  • ouabain
  • ventricular tachycardia
  • verapamil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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