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CARDIAC EFFECTS OF NOR-EPINEPHRINE

JAMA. 1951;145(3):162. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920210034012.
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Nathanson and Miller1 report investigations on the effect of nor-epinephrine and epinephrine on the ventricular rate. They chose for their study patients with complete heart block because the ventricular rate in heart block is relatively stable and is uninfluenced by extraneous factors and because the sympathomimetic compounds are the only substances that effectively increase the activity of the ventricular pacemaker. Both compounds were administered in doses of 0.03 mg. by a rapid intravenous injection. A continuous electrocardiogram was made and blood pressures recorded after 30 seconds and at one minute intervals thereafter. The injection of nor-epinephrine caused within 30 seconds an abrupt rise in the blood pressure, which lasted five to eight minutes. However, the ventricular rate showed only a slight and transient increase. The average increase in the ventricular rate in the 10 patients with complete heart block was five beats per minute. After the administration of epinephrine,

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