Potassium loading as adjunct treatment of repetitive ventricular arrhythmias
James D. Maloney, MDAddress reprint requests to J.D.M., Department of Cardiology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195.
Robert Detrano, MD, PhD
Fredrick J. Jaeger, DO
Judy Leatherman, BS
Victor A. Morant, MD
Lon W. Castle, MD
To evaluate potassium supplementation as adjunct therapy for ventricular arrhythmias, consecutive nor-mokalemic patients undergoing in-hospital antiarrhythmic therapy for ventricular tachycardia were randomly assigned to one of four groups: intravenous potassium chloride (Group I, 44 patients) v intravenous saline (Group II, 48 patients); and oral potassium chloride capsules (Group III, 50 patients) v no additional treatment (Group IV, 47 patients). All groups underwent serial serum potassium determinations and 24-hour electrocardiographic monitoring. Analysis revealed no significant differences in ventricular ectopic activity among groups, and there was no significant association between serum potassium level and incidence of ventricular arrhythmias. We conclude that normokalemic patients undergoing anti-arrhythmic therapy for ventricular tachycardia benefit little from concomitant short-term potassium supplementation.