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Acute echocardiographic effects of sotalol on ventricular systolic function in dogs with ventricular arrhythmias



Sotalol is a commonly used antiarrhythmic drug that may alter ventricular function.


To determine the effect of sotalol on echocardiographic indices of ventricular systolic function in dogs with ventricular arrhythmias.


Thirty-five client-owned dogs with ventricular arrhythmias.


Dogs with ventricular arrhythmias (n = 27) had an echocardiogram and 5-minute ECG performed at baseline and 2-4 hours post-sotalol (2-2.5 mg/kg PO once). Eight additional dogs underwent the same protocol but did not receive sotalol (within-day variability controls). Left ventricular (LV) internal dimension at end-systole normalized to bodyweight (LVIDs_N), LV ejection fraction (LV EF), LV shortening area, LV fractional shortening, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), and right ventricular systolic myocardial velocity were evaluated as indices of systolic function.


All indices except TAPSE had mild decreases in systolic function post-sotalol (all P ≤ .0007) compared with baseline but only the percent change in LVIDs_N and LV EF were significantly (P ≤ .0079) different from the percent change of the same indices in control dogs. Sinus heart rate, ventricular premature complexes/5-minutes, and arrhythmia grade also were decreased post-sotalol (all P ≤ .01) compared with baseline when assessed by a 5-minutes ECG. No dog experienced an adverse event post-sotalol, including dogs with systolic dysfunction or atrial enlargement.

Conclusions and clinical importance

A single dose of sotalol may cause a mild decrease in LV systolic function in dogs with ventricular arrhythmias. Sotalol appears to be well tolerated, even in dogs with atrial enlargement or systolic dysfunction.

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