PMID: 13584729Sep 1, 1958Paper

The mode of action of quinidine on isolated rabbit atria interpreted from intracellular potential records

British Journal of Pharmacology and Chemotherapy


An attempt has been made to show why quinidine, which has long been known not to lengthen the duration of the cardiac action potential, measured with external electrodes, and also not to lengthen, and sometimes to shorten, the absolute refractory period, nevertheless reduces the maximum frequency at which atria can respond to a stimulus. Simultaneous measurements have been made in electrically driven isolated rabbit atria of contractions, conduction velocity and intracellular potentials before and during exposure to a wide range of concentrations of quinidine sulphate. The resting potential remained undiminished, in contrast to the effect of quinidine on Purkinje fibres. In the therapeutic range of doses, up to 10 mg./l., the half-time for repolarization was either shortened or unchanged, thus providing an explanation for the failure of quinidine to prolong the absolute refractory period. In contrast, even at low concentrations of quinidine, conduction velocity and the rate of rise of the action potential were greatly slowed, and the height of the overshoot was reduced. The terminal phase of the action potential was prolonged. It is known that the rate of rise of the action potential is a function of the level of repolarization...Continue Reading


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