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Insulin, Glucose, and Potassium in the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure

Br Med J 1972; 3 doi: (Published 16 September 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;3:675
  1. S. P. Allison,
  2. C. J. Morley,
  3. C. J. Burns-Cox


    A daily infusion of 500-1,000 ml of 50% glucose containing 100-120 units of soluble insulin and 100-120 mEq of potassium chloride per litre was given to six patients suffering from hyponatraemia and congestive cardiac failure resistant to digoxin and diuretic therapy. In two patients there was no response, but four showed a striking improvement with a sodium and water diuresis, a rise in plasma sodium level, and in two cases a reversion from atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. It is suggested that insulin, glucose, and potassium given by the intravenous route in adequate dosage forms a useful adjunct to the management of severe congestive heart failure.