Diclofenac Prolongs Repolarization in Ventricular Muscle with Impaired Repolarization Reserve

Attila Kristóf, Zoltán Husti, István Koncz, Zsófia Kohajda, Tamás Szél, Viktor Juhász, Péter Biliczki, Norbert Jost, István Baczkó, Julius Gy Papp, András Varró, László Virág

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The aim of the present work was to characterize the electrophysiological effects of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac and to study the possible proarrhythmic potency of the drug in ventricular muscle. Methods: Ion currents were recorded using voltage clamp technique in canine single ventricular cells and action potentials were obtained from canine ventricular preparations using microelectrodes. The proarrhythmic potency of the drug was investigated in an anaesthetized rabbit proarrhythmia model. Results: Action potentials were slightly lengthened in ventricular muscle but were shortened in Purkinje fibers by diclofenac (20 μM). The maximum upstroke velocity was decreased in both preparations. Larger repolarization prolongation was observed when repolarization reserve was impaired by previous BaCl2 application. Diclofenac (3 mg/kg) did not prolong while dofetilide (25 μg/kg) significantly lengthened the QTc interval in anaesthetized rabbits. The addition of diclofenac following reduction of repolarization reserve by dofetilide further prolonged QTc. Diclofenac alone did not induce Torsades de Pointes ventricular tachycardia (TdP) while TdP incidence following dofetilide was 20%. However, the combination of diclofenac and dofetilide significantly increased TdP incidence (62%). In single ventricular cells diclofenac (30 μM) decreased the amplitude of rapid (IKr) and slow (IKs) delayed rectifier currents thereby attenuating repolarization reserve. L-type calcium current (ICa) was slightly diminished, but the transient outward (Ito) and inward rectifier (IK1) potassium currents were not influenced. Conclusions: Diclofenac at therapeutic concentrations and even at high dose does not prolong repolarization markedly and does not increase the risk of arrhythmia in normal heart. However, high dose diclofenac treatment may lengthen repolarization and enhance proarrhythmic risk in hearts with reduced repolarization reserve.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53255
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 31 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this