DIGITALIS preparations are recommended in treatment of shock because cardiac failure has been shown to occur in the late stages.1-3 It has been advocated as a general supportive measure since digitalis is known to improve contractility of the normal as well as the failing heart.4,5 Wiggers6 states that as many as 80% of patients in shock develop myocardial failure. Though the basis for administration of digitalis appears sound, little is known regarding dosage toxicity relationships during shock.7 In the present study the tolerance of the heart to acetyl strophanthidin was determined in the normal state and during endotoxin shock.
Mongrel dogs (10 to 20 kg) were anesthetized with intravenous pentobarbital (30 mg/kg) and ventilation maintained with a mechanical respirator using room air. Lead II of the electrocardiogram was continuously monitored and periodic segments recorded. An intravenous catheter was placed in a peripheral vein and acetyl