Arnold M. Katz, MD
More than 50 years ago, Chambers and Reznikoff (1) noted that amoebae placed in water containing only sodium chloride or potassium chloride became sluggish, rounded up, and eventually died. Normal activity was restored when calcium chloride was added outside the cell, but injection of calcium chloride into the cell caused the cytoplasm to contract and solidify. Similar opposing effects of calcium are seen in the heart. Small amounts of extracellular calcium are essential for contraction, whereas an excessive rise in intracellular calcium causes cardiac cell death (2). Because calcium can be both essential and detrimental, it is not difficult to
Katz AM. Is Calcium Beneficial or Deleterious in Patients with Cardiac Arrest?. Ann Intern Med. ;109:91–92. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-2-91
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(2):91-92.
Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, Rhythm Disorders and Devices.
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