Acute dilated cardiomyopathy and central nervous system toxicity following propranolol intoxication

Matitiahu Lifshitz, Nili Zucker, Eli Zalzstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: We report a case of a 16-year-old boy who developed central nervous system (CNS) depression and acute dilated cardiomyopathy following ingestion of 3200 mg of propranolol in a suicide attempt. Early echocardiographic findings were the only sign of cardiac toxicity. Design: A case report. Setting: Pediatric intensive care unit of a teaching hospital. Results: This child developed significant acute dilated cardiomyopathy and severe CNS depression 2 hours after ingesting 3200 mg of propranolol. The child was treated with gastric lavage, activated charcoal, and mechanical ventilation. Following the echocardiographic findings, treatment with isoprenaline hydrochloride and glucagon were given intravenously. Echocardiographic examination 12 hours following treatment showed normal left ventricular size and function. No change in pulse rate or blood pressure was reported on admission and during his hospitalization. Discussion: In the early stages of propranolol and other lipophilic beta-blocker intoxication, severe CNS depression can develop in the absence of clinical signs of cardiac toxicity. Early echocardiographic evaluation is important and may prevent delay in diagnosis and treatment of cardiac toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-263
Number of pages2
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • CNS depression
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Echocardiography
  • Propranolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute dilated cardiomyopathy and central nervous system toxicity following propranolol intoxication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this