The effect of hypertonic sodium bicarbonate on QRS duration in rats poisoned with chloroquine

Steven C. Curry, David A. Connor, Richard F. Clark, Donna Holland, Leslie Carrol, Robert Raschke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine efficacy of hypertonic sodium bicarbonate in narrowing QRS prolongation produced by chloroquine. Design: Randomized, controlled animal experiment using an accepted rat model of sodium channel blockade. Methods: Hypotension and widening of QRS complexes (lead II) of the ECG were produced in 16 rats by administration of a total of 87 mg/kg chloroquine intravenously over 20 minutes. Eight rats were treated with 6 mL/kg 1 M sodium bicarbonate intravenously over two minutes beginning ten minutes into the chloroquine infusion. Serial measurementrs of QRS duration and systolic blood pressure were obtained for 30 minutes. Results: QRS intervals narrowed more rapidly in animals receiving sodium bicarbonate (p = .045), although the difference in mean rate of narrowing between groups was modest at only .23 msec/min. Because of large variances, no statistically significant differences could be demonstrated in systolic blood pressure. Conclusions: Hypertonic sodium bicalbonate partially reversed sodium channel blockade and resultant QRS interval prolongation produced by chloroquine in rats. These data should be interpreted with caution, given the need to extrapolate to humans and the modest effect of sodium bicarbonate on QRS narrowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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