Electrophysiologic effects of amiodarone: experimental and clinical observation relative to serum and tissue drug concentrations

Am Heart J. 1984 Oct;108(4 Pt 1):890-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(84)90451-4.


Oral amiodarone is a potent antiarrhythmic agent with a slow onset of action. Its electrophysiologic properties following chronic administration are well known, but its acute electrophysiologic actions are poorly defined. The objectives of the present study were to correlate the electrophysiologic actions of intravenous amiodarone in humans with the acute and chronic effects of the drug relative to plasma and tissue concentrations of the drug. In humans (n = 10), 5 mg/kg intravenous amiodarone (serum concentration 6.50 +/- 3.34 micrograms/ml at 10 minutes; 2.13 +/- 0.71 micrograms/ml at 20 minutes, n = 7) increased the AH interval by 16.4% (p less than 0.005), the antegrade effective refractory period (ERP) of the atrioventricular (AV) node by 14.4% (p less than 0.025), and the functional refractory period (FRP) of the AV node by 15.5% (p less than 0.005). The ERP or FRP of the atrium of the right ventricle was not significantly changed; there was no effect on the HV interval or the QT and R-R intervals of the ECG. In rabbits (n = 11) given 10 mg/kg intravenous amiodarone (mean +/- SD serum concentration 0.49 +/- 0.17 micrograms/ml; mean myocardial concentration 7.0 +/- 1.9 micrograms/gm, n = 3), there were no significant effects on the ECG intervals. In isolated rabbit sinoatrial (SA) node, atria, and AV node (three preparations) superfused with 5 X 10(-6)M amiodarone (3.41 micrograms/ml), there was no effect on the action potential duration (APD) or other parameters of the transmembrane potential.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Aged
  • Amiodarone / administration & dosage
  • Amiodarone / blood
  • Amiodarone / metabolism
  • Amiodarone / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology*
  • Benzofurans / pharmacology*
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Rabbits


  • Benzofurans
  • Amiodarone