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Compr Ther. 1992 Feb;18(2):38-41.

Clinical use of digitalis.

Author information

  • 1Hebrew Hospital for Chronic Sick, Bronx, NY 10475.

Erratum in

  • Compr Ther 1992 Apr;18(4):39. Aranow WS [corrected to Aronow WS].


Digitalis should be used for slowing a rapid ventricular rate in atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter unassociated with the preexcitation syndrome. Digitalis may be used to convert paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia to sinus rhythm. Patients with the tachycardia-bradycardia syndrome should receive maintenance doses of digitalis after pacemaker implantation. Digitalis should not be used for treating CHF with normal LV systolic function unless a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia is present. Conflicting studies have been reported as to the efficacy of digoxin in the treatment of patients with CHF in sinus rhythm. Digoxin may be used for treating CHF with abnormal LV systolic function which does not respond to diuretics and ACE inhibitors or in patients unable to tolerate ACE inhibitor or other vasodilator therapy. Digitalis has a low toxic-therapeutic ratio, especially in elderly persons. Digoxin-specific Fab antibody fragments may be used for treating digitalis toxicity refractory to conventional measures with a treatment response in at least 90% of patients with advanced and potentially life-threatening digitalis toxicity.

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