The book reviews the present data on the action and the clinical use of digitalis in heart failure. The new data accumulated in the authors' laboratories during the past three years are also reviewed.
The main purpose of this book is to emphasize the following:
That patients in heart failure may react differently to certain dosages of digitalis, and that overdigitalization and underdigitalization may at times be indistinguishable.
That the toxic threshold for various digitalis preparations is profoundly influenced by the state of the electrolytes of the body, particularly by potassium and sodium.
That the modern therapeutic regimen of low-salt diets, mercurials, ammonium chloride, cortisone, corticotropin (ACTH), cation exchange resins, and acetazoleamide (Diamox) oftentimes results in a low potassium and sodium content of the body, but not necessarily of the blood plasma, and this markedly lowers the toxic threshold of all digitalis preparations.
That paroxysmal atrial tachycardia