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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 1996 Jul;1(3):243-254.

Characterization of Magnesium Sulfate as an Antiarrhythmic Agent.

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Department of Pharmacology, Yamanashi Medical University, Tamaho-cho, Nakakoma-gun, Yamanashi, Japan



Recently, intravenous magnesium therapy has been used for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias, but data to establish a causal link between the electrophysiological properties and the antiarrhythmic actions are lacking.


The acute antiarrhythmic effect of magnesium sulfate was assessed using epinephrine-, digitalis-, and coronary ligation-induced canine ventricular arrhythmia models. The intravenous administration of magnesium sulfate (100 mg/kg) reduced the incidence of the ventricular arrhythmias of all models. The antiarrhythmic effect on the epinephrine-induced arrhythmia was potent and long-lasting, while those on the other arrhythmia models were weak and transient. The direct cardiovascular effects were assessed using the canine isolated, blood-perfused sinus node, papillary muscle, and atrioventricular node preparations. The intracoronary administration of magnesium sulfate (0.1-30 mg) suppressed sinoatrial automaticity and ventricular contraction, while it increased atrio-His and His-ventricular conduction time, coronary blood flow, and the duration of monophasic action potential in a dose-dependent manner. The effects on His-ventricular conduction and monophasic action potential duration were less potent compared with the other cardiovascular effects.


These results suggest that magnesium sulfate possesses multiple electrophysiological properties and that the effects related to the calcium channel inhibition may be the most relevant for the antiarrhythmic actions.


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