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Cardiac arrhythmias during acute exacerbations of chronic airflow limitation: effect of fall in plasma potassium concentration induced by nebulised beta 2-agonist therapy.
  1. R. Lim,
  2. M. J. Walshaw,
  3. S. Saltissi,
  4. C. R. Hind
  1. Department of Medicine, Royal Liverpool Hospital, University of Liverpool, UK.


    The effect on cardiac rhythm of the fall in plasma potassium concentration induced by nebulised beta2-agonist therapy was studied in 20 patients admitted to hospital with an acute exacerbation of their reversible chronic airflow limitation. Arrhythmias considered serious or potentially life-threatening were recorded in 13 patients (65%). However, there was no significant increase in these arrhythmias in the hour following administration of nebulised beta2-agonist despite a significant fall in plasma potassium concentration during this period.

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