The electrophysiologic effects of the antiarrhythmic agent disopyramide phosphate given intravenously were studied in 10 patients with cardiac disease. Studies included determinations of sinus recovery time and refractoriness of the atria, the atrioventricular (A-V) node and the His-Purkinje system. Measurements were performed at rest and 15 and 30 minutes after administration of disopyramide. Serum drug levels were measured at these times. Sinus recovery time was shortened at both 15 and 30 minutes, with an average decrease of 39.5 and 146.2 msec, respectively (P < 0.01). Atrial refractoriness was not altered significantly, but tended to be reduced; the mean effective refractory period was 289.5 msec before administration of disopyramide and 259 and 270 msec 15 and 30 minutes, respectively, after administration. The functional refractory period of the atrioventricular (A-V) node was definitely prolonged in seven patients 15 minutes after administration of disopyramide. The relative refractory period of the His-Purkinje System was not altered. Although this study does not elucidate the mechanism by which disopyramide achieves its antiarrhythmic effects, animal work has shown that it is similar to that of quinidine. In the doses used the drug does not seem to cause first, second or third degree A-V block or fascicular or bundle branch block; it did not increase the severity of first degree A-V block in the three patients with this disturbance. The drug may be particularly useful when arrhythmias are associated with slow sinus rates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine