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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 50

of 'Tricyclic antidepressant poisoning'

Reversal of severe tricyclic antidepressant-induced cardiotoxicity with intravenous hypertonic saline solution.
McKinney PE, Rasmussen R
Ann Emerg Med. 2003;42(1):20.
A 29-year-old woman ingested 8 g of nortriptyline and presented to the emergency department with coma, hypotension, and widened QRS interval. After intubation, gastric lavage, hyperventilation, and therapy with intravenous normal saline solution, sodium bicarbonate boluses (rapid intravenous push), and high doses of norepinephrine and dopamine, she transiently improved, only to deteriorate on arrival to the ICU. Because her arterial pH was alkalemic at 7.5 at this point, she was given additional sodium in the form of 200 mL of 7.5% NaCl by means of rapid intravenous infusion (intravenous push) to treat hypotension and widening QRS interval with ventricular ectopy. A continuous 12-lead ECG documented narrowing of her QRS interval with concomitant improvement of hypotension within 3 minutes of hypertonic saline solution infusion. Hypertonic saline solution should be considered for wide complex QRS and hypotension caused by tricyclic antidepressant-induced cardiotoxicity that is unresponsive to standard therapies.
Department of Emergency Medicine, ACC-4-West, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. pmckinney@salud.umn.edu