Intravenous lipid emulsion prolongs survival in rats intoxicated with digoxin

Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Jun;34(6):1112-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2016.03.038. Epub 2016 Mar 17.


Background: Intravenous lipid emulsion eliminates the toxicity-related symptoms of several drugs. We hypothesized that intravenous lipid emulsion prolongs the survival time in digoxin-intoxicated rats.

Methods: Electrocardiograms of 14 anesthesized Wistar rats were monitored. All of the rats received digoxin infusion at a rate of 12 mL/h (0.25 mg/mL). Five minutes after the start of digoxin infusion, animals were treated either with 12.4 mL/kg intravenous lipid emulsion (group L) or saline (group C). The primary outcome variable was time elapsed until asystole development. Cumulative dose of digoxin required to induce asystole was also recorded.

Results: Mean time until asystole development in groups C and L were 21.28 ± 8.61 and 32.00 ± 5.41 minutes, respectively (P< .05). The mean lethal doses of digoxin in the groups C and L were 3.97 ± 1.54 and 6.09 ± 0.96 mg/kg, respectively (P< .05).

Conclusion: Intravenous lipid emulsion prolonged the time until asystole development and increased cumulative lethal dose in rats intoxicated with digoxin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / toxicity*
  • Digoxin / toxicity*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Arrest / etiology
  • Heart Arrest / prevention & control*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Digoxin