TITLE

Arrhythmias in Chronic Pulmonary Disease

AUTHOR(S)
Wolf, Phillip S.
PUB. DATE
October 1979
SOURCE
Angiology;Oct1979, Vol. 30 Issue 10, p676
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Arrhythmias often complicate the course of patients with severe respiratory disease; the frequency of arrhythmias in patients with this condition approaches that seen with acute myocardial infarction. No one rhythm disturbance predominates, but rapid atrial and ventricular rhythms are characteristic. In the setting of acute respiratory failure, several conditions may predispose to arrhythmias. Hypoxemia, a serum pH that is too high or too low, and a low serum potassium may produce arrhythmias by disturbing the myocardial cellular milieu. Drugs such as digitalis, epinephrine, and theophylline may also act as myocardial irritants. The first step in therapy is to assess the patient's clinical status. In addition to careful examination, it is helpful to note the specific effect of the arrhythmia on the patient. Some rhythm disturbances are well tolerated, while others are associated with serious problems in ventilation and perfusion. In many cases the control of respiration, correction of pH and electrolyte imbalance, and provision of bronchial hygiene will restore a normal sinus rhythm. Such measures are essential even when antiarrhythmic drugs or cardioversion are needed.
ACCESSION #
16519579

 

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