Magnesium deficiency in adult rats promotes the induction of ventricular tachycardia by the administration of epinephrine

Toshiko Tomiyasu, Akiko Chishaki, Motoomi Nakamura

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The effects of magnesium deficiency on epinephrine-induced ventricular tachyarrhythmia were investigated in adult rats. Forty-two adult Wistar rats were fed a magnesium-deficient diet while 30 rats were fed a standard diet for 20 days. The plasma magnesium concentration was lower in the magnesium-deficient rats (0.22 ± 0.01 mmol/l) than in the control rats (0.76 ± 0.03 mmol/l, P < 0.001). Using a telemetry system, electrocardiograms and arterial blood pressure were recorded on a polygraph in an unrestrained condition. Epinephrine was infused intravenously starting at 5 μg/kg per minute. The QT interval was prolonged to 50 ± 1 ms in the magnesium-deficient rats compared with 44 ± 1 ms in the control rats (P < 0.001). Before the administration of epinephrine, no ventricular tachyarrhythmias or seizures were found in either the control or the magnesium-deficient rats. The incidence of epinephrine-induced sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) was higher in the magnesium-deficient rats (86%) than in the control rats (43%, P < 0.01). However, this VT did not result in sudden death. Seizures always preceded death in both the magnesium-deficient and control rats while the arrhythmias observed immediately before death were mainly bradyarrhythmias. The present study in an adult rat magnesium-deficient model revealed that magnesium deficiency enhances the susceptibility to epinephrine-induced ventricular tachyarrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalHeart and Vessels
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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