Torsades de pointes complicating pentamidine therapy of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in acute myelogenous leukemia

Intern Med. 1997 Oct;36(10):705-8. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.36.705.


Pentamidine isethionate induced torsades de pointes in a 33-year-old woman with acute myelogenous leukemia. This is the first report of Pentamidine-induced torsades de pointes in Japan for over ten years. On the 4th day of intravenous pentamidine for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, asymptomatic sinus bradycardia was noted with QT interval prolongation, and torsades de pointes were revealed on the 8th day. Although torsades de pointes was dissolved with discontinuation of the intravenous pentamidine and administration of magnesium sulfate, sinus bradycardia and prolonged QT interval persisted. Ventricular pacing resulted in no arrhythmia and normalization of the QT interval on the 10th day after discontinuation of pentamidine. Careful monitoring of the electrocardiogram should be carried out during intravenous pentamidine therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / complications*
  • Magnesium Sulfate / therapeutic use
  • Pentamidine / adverse effects*
  • Pentamidine / therapeutic use
  • Pneumocystis / isolation & purification
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / complications
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / drug therapy*
  • Torsades de Pointes / chemically induced*
  • Torsades de Pointes / physiopathology
  • Torsades de Pointes / therapy


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Pentamidine
  • Magnesium Sulfate