Effect of halothane on in vivo and in vitro cardiotoxicity of an aminocardenolide

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1994 Jun;23(6):890-6. doi: 10.1097/00005344-199406000-00006.


Halothane opposes cardiotoxicity of neutral-sugar digitalis compounds in intact animals, presumably by depressing a sympathetic component of arrhythmogenesis. However, halothane also produces a dose-related reduction in arrhythmogenicity of ouabain in isolated canine Purkinje fibers, suggesting that the anesthetic may oppose direct mechanisms of cardiotoxicity as well. The present study examined in vivo and in vitro the effect of halothane on the arrhythmogenicity of ASI-222 (3-beta-O[4-amino-4-6-dideoxy-beta-D-galactopyranosyl] digitoxigen in HCl), a highly polar aminocardenolide with no sympathetic component to cardiotoxicity. For in vivo studies, ASI-222 was infused at a rate of 1 microgram/kg/min until appearance of third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block or sustained ventricular arrhythmias in 5 conscious (control) and 6 halothane-anesthetized (1.4% end-tidal) dogs. For in vitro studies, standard microelectrode techniques were used to measure action potentials (AP) in seven excised canine Purkinje fibers superfused with oxygenated Krebs-Henseleit buffer. AP were recorded during control superfusion, after induction of toxicity with 10(-7) M ASI-222, and during exposure to 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0% halothane. Purkinje fibers were paced at 500-ms cycle lengths (CL) for 20 beats, and the amplitude of delayed afterdepolarizations (DAD) were recorded. Pacing at 250 ms CL was used to trigger ectopy. In vivo studies showed no difference in the cardiotoxic dose of ASI-222 between control dogs and those anesthetized with 1.4% halothane. However, in 4 of 6 anesthetized dogs, acutely increasing the inspired halothane concentration suppressed arrhythmias once end-tidal concentration were >2.2%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / chemically induced
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy
  • Consciousness
  • Digitalis Glycosides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Digitalis Glycosides / toxicity
  • Digitoxigenin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Digitoxigenin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Digitoxigenin / toxicity
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Halothane / pharmacology*
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Heart Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Purkinje Fibers / drug effects


  • Digitalis Glycosides
  • Digitoxigenin
  • ASI-222
  • Halothane