Intravenous Amiodarone and Sotalol Impair Contractility and Cardiac Output, but Procainamide Does Not: A Langendorff Study

Charles Mackin, Elizabeth S. DeWitt, Katherine J. Black, Xiaoqi Tang, Brian D. Polizzotti, Sarah J. van den Bosch, Mark E. Alexander, John N. Kheir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Direct comparison of the effects of antiarrhythmic agents on myocardial performance may be useful in choosing between medications in critically ill patients. Studies directly comparing multiple antiarrhythmic medications are lacking. The use of an experimental heart preparation permits examination of myocardial performance under constant loading conditions. Methods: Hearts of Sprague Dawley rats (n = 35, 402-507 g) were explanted and cannulated in working heart model with fixed preload and afterload. Each heart was then exposed to a 3-hour infusion of procainamide (20 µg/kg/min), esmolol (100 or 200 µg/kg/min), amiodarone (10 or 20 mg/kg/d), sotalol (80 mg/m2/d), or placebo infusions (n = 5 per dose). Cardiac output, contractility (dP/dTmax), diastolic performance (dP/dTmin), and heart rate were compared between groups over time by linear mixed modeling. Results: Compared with placebo, sotalol decreased contractility by an average of 24% (P <.001) over the infusion period, as did amiodarone (low dose by 13%, P =.029; high dose by 14%, P =.013). Compared with placebo, mean cardiac output was significantly lower in animals treated with sotalol (by 22%, P =.016) and esmolol 200 μg/kg/min (by 23%, P =.012). Over time, amiodarone decreased cardiac output (20 mg/kg/d, β = −89 [−144, −33] μL/min2 decrease, P =.002) and also worsened diastolic function, decreasing dP/dTmin by ∼18% and 22% (P =.032 and P =.011, low and high doses, respectively). Procainamide did not have a significant effect on any measures of systolic or diastolic performance. Conclusions: In isolated hearts, amiodarone and sotalol depressed myocardial contractility, cardiac output, and diastolic function. However, procainamide did not negatively affect myocardial performance and represents a favorable agent in settings of therapeutic equivalence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-297
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • antiarrhythmic
  • contractility
  • intensive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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