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Stimulant Abuse and Sudden Cardiac Death

  • Steven B. Karch
Chapter

Chronic illegal stimulant usage alters the structure of the heart. Most of these alterations are well recognized, but the underlying etiology of many still remains obscure. Cocaine was the first local anesthetic and, like all local anesthetics, it blocks sodium channels in the heart [1], but it also has the potential ability to block potassium channels as well. Blockade of potassium channels disrupts the normal dispersion of electrical signals in the heart. Methamphetamine produces many of the same changes, but does not directly interact with any of the heart’s ion channels.

Keywords

Potassium Channel Sudden Cardiac Death Coronary Flow Reserve Structural Heart Disease Myocardial Hypertrophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

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  • Steven B. Karch

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