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The relative effects of digoxin and diltiazem upon ventricular ectopic activity in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation.

By R V Lewis and D G McDevitt


In eight patients with chronic atrial fibrillation, treatment with digoxin (plasma drug concentration 1.3 to 2.0 nmol l-1) was associated with a significantly higher incidence of ventricular premature beats (VPBs) (mean 22.8 h-1) than diltiazem 120 mg three times daily (mean 6.8 h-1) (P less than 0.05). Seven out of the eight patients showed an increase in numbers of VPBs recorded over 24 h during treatment with digoxin when compared with diltiazem. The clinical importance of these results is unclear, but atrial fibrillation and ischaemic heart disease frequently co-exist, and increases in ventricular ectopy may predispose to serious ventricular arrhythmias following myocardial infarction

Topics: Research Article
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