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Plasma Digoxin Concentrations in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Br Med J 1970; 3 doi: (Published 22 August 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;3:429
  1. D. A. Chamberlain,
  2. R. J. White,
  3. M. R. Howard,
  4. T. W. Smith


    Plasma digoxin concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay in 116 patients with atrial fibrillation on long-term oral treatment with the drug, and in 23 patients with digoxin toxicity. The mean concentrations were 1·4 ng./ml. and 3·1 ng./ml., respectively. Though an overlap occurred between the therapeutic and toxic ranges, toxicity is unlikely to occur below a level of 2 ng./ml. Plasma concentration showed a poor correlation with resting heart rate during atrial fibrillation. In patients with good renal function, however, a significant correlation was found between oral dose and plasma concentration. No evidence was obtained for increased sensitivity to therapeutic concentrations of the drug in elderly subjects, but the doses required to achieve these concentrations tended to be less than in younger patients.