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Ann Intern Med. 1989 Feb 1;110(3):202-7.

Increased lung water and ascites after massive cocaine overdosage in mice and improved survival related to beta-adrenergic blockage.

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  • 1Stanford University School of Medicine, California.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of massive cocaine intoxication on lung water and ascites accumulation and the effect of beta- and alpha-adrenergic blockade on survival in massive cocaine intoxication in the mouse.

DESIGN:

The effect of massive cocaine intoxication on lung water, ascitic fluid accumulation, and survival following LD 100 doses of intravenous cocaine with and without alpha- and beta-adrenergic blockade was determined.

INTERVENTIONS:

Cocaine hydrochloride (0.15 mg/g body weight) was administered intravenously with no other interventions; with propranolol hydrochloride intravenously (0.5 mg per mouse) before and after cocaine; and with phentolamine intravenously (10.5 micrograms per mouse) before cocaine.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Intravenous cocaine hydrochloride resulted in an increase in lung water (saline controls, 4.17 +/- 1.3 [standard deviation] mg water per g mouse; cocaine hydrochloride, 5.94 +/- 0.9 mg water per g mouse; P less than 0.002). Cocaine hydrochloride always resulted in the accumulation of transudative ascitic fluid (saline controls, no measurable ascitic fluid; cocaine administration, 20.2 +/- 12.9 micrograms per mouse; ascitic fluid protein concentration, 23.5 +/- 8.5 g/L). Propranolol hydrochloride administered before or after intravenous cocaine hydrochloride resulted in a striking reduction in mortality (84 of 84 mice without propranolol died [mortality = 100%]; 7 of 39 mice with propranolol died [mortality = 18%]; P less than 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Massive cocaine intoxication is associated with increased lung water and transudative ascites. Fluid accumulation is not prevented by either alpha- or beta-adrenergic blockers. Propranolol, administered either before or after cocaine, sharply reduces mortality. The results should be extrapolated to treatment in humans with caution.

PMID:
2912360
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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