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Am J Cardiol. 1982 Nov;50(5):1082-6.

Prolongation of the human cardiac monophasic action potential by sotalol.


Sotalol and propranolol are nonselective beta-adrenergic blocking agents. Sotalol at low concentration, unlike propranolol, prolongs the duration of the transmembrane action potential. In a double-blind study, the electrophysiologic effects of intravenous sotalol (0.30 or 0.60 mg/kg; n = 9) were compared with intravenous propranolol (0.15 or 0.20 mg/kg; n = 8) in 17 patients with use of bipolar suction electrodes in the right atrium and right ventricle to determine whether sotalol prolongs the monophasic action potential duration in man. After administration of sotalol, there were significant increases (paired t test) in the Q-T interval (p less than 0.001), right atrial effective refractory period (p less than 0.05), right ventricular effective refractory period (p less than 0.005), right atrial monophasic action potential duration at 90% repolarization (p less than 0.01), and right ventricular monophasic action potential duration at 90% repolarization (p less than 0.005). Prolongation of the monophasic action potential duration was dependent on plasma sotalol concentration. There were no significant changes in these variables after propranolol. The spontaneous cycle length and Wenckebach cycle length increased significantly in both groups, and the mean blood pressure decreased in both, although not significantly after propranolol. In summary, sotalol but not propranolol prolonged atrial and ventricular effective refractory periods and lengthened the monophasic action potential and the Q-T interval of human myocardium after intravenous infusion. The ability to acutely prolong repolarization at therapeutic plasma concentration is unique among known competitive beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists.

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