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64 of 910 hospital patients taking digoxin had a ventricular rate of less than 60 beats/min. In only 6 out of 57 of those investigated further could a diagnosis of digoxin toxicity be made on clinical, electrocardiographic, and biochemical grounds. No reason for the slow heart-rate could be found in 42 patients. Excessive vagal effects of digoxin in resting subjects may cause the bradycardia found in these inpatients in the absence of digitalis toxicity. © 1978.

Original publication




Journal article


The Lancet

Publication Date





1340 - 1342