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Vet J. 2006 Jul;172(1):129-34.

Intravenous amiodarone treatment in horses with chronic atrial fibrillation.

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Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


Six horses without underlying cardiac disease were presented because of atrial fibrillation of between 5 and 12 months duration. These horses received an intravenous amiodarone treatment of 5mg/kg/h for 1 h followed by 0.83mg/kg/h for 23h and subsequently 1.9mg/kg/h for 30h. During treatment, clinical signs were monitored and a surface ECG and an intra-atrial electrogram were recorded. Infusion was discontinued when sinus rhythm or side effects occurred. Four horses successfully cardioverted, of which one showed symptoms of hind limb weakness and weight shifting. Two horses did not cardiovert and showed similar side effects. In all horses, side effects disappeared within 6h after termination of treatment. Cardiac side effects, such as pro-arrhythmia, were not seen in any of the horses. Total bilirubin slightly increased in three horses and normalised within four days. It was concluded that amiodarone has the potential to treat naturally occurring chronic atrial fibrillation in horses, although further research is needed to refine the infusion protocol.

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