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Effect of sotalol on heart rate, QT interval, and atrial fibrillation cycle length in horses with atrial fibrillation

  • Decloedt, Annelies
  • Broux, Barbara
  • De Clercq, Dominique
  • Deprez, Piet
  • Van Steenkiste, Glenn
  • Vera, Lisse
  • Ven, Sofie
  • van Loon, Gunther
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Background: Based on its pharmacokinetic profile and electrophysiological effects in healthy horses, sotalol potentially could be used as a long-term PO antiarrhythmic drug in horses. Objectives: To evaluate the effect of sotalol on heart rate (HR), QT interval, atrial fibrillatory rate, and success of cardioversion in horses with naturally occurring chronic atrial fibrillation (AF). Animals: Twenty-eight horses referred for transvenous electrical cardioversion of AF were treated with 2 mg/kg sotalol PO q12h for 3 days before cardioversion, and 13 horses underwent the same protocol without sotalol administration. Methods: Retrospective study. Before and after sotalol or no treatment, the HR was measured at rest and during an exercise test. The QT interval and atrial fibrillation cycle length (AFCL) were measured at rest using tissue Doppler velocity imaging. Results: In the control group, no significant differences were found between the 2 examinations. In the sotalol group, the HR at rest and during exercise was significantly lower after sotalol treatment, whereas the QT interval and AFCL measured by tissue Doppler increased significantly. Cardioversion to sinus rhythm was achieved in 25/28 horses in the sotalol group and all horses in the control group, but the median number of shocks and energy at cardioversion were significantly lower in the sotalol group. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: In horses with AF, sotalol administration results in class III antiarrhythmic effects and -blocking activity, with moderate HR reduction during exercise.

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