Cardiac dysrhythmias during the treatment of acute asthma. A comparison of two treatment regimens by a double blind protocol

G. W. Josephson, H. L. Kennedy, E. J. MacKenzie, G. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The frequency and type of dysrhythmias observed in asthmatic patients treated with epinephrine alone, and those given epinephrine and intravenous aminophylline, were compared. Forty-one patients with 44 episodes of acute asthma were evaluated. Nine subjects had cardiac dysthythmias related to treatment, principally those receiving epinephrine and aminophylline. Supraventricular and ventricular dysrhythmias occurred with approximately equal frequency. Three patients had complex ventricular ectopy. The mean age of dysrhythmic patients receiving combination treatment (39.8 years), was significantly greater than those treated similarly, but without dysrhythmias (23.5 years). The difference in theophylline levels between dysrhythmic and nondysrhythmic patients was not significant, and there was no relationship between dysrhythmogenicity and initial severity of asthmatic attacks, or improvement in peak expiratory flow over a 90-minute treatment period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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