Ventricular Standstill Following Intravenous Erythromycin and Borderline Hypokalemia

  • Saad A Khan Department of Gastroenterology, Peninsula Health, Frankston
  • John Ramzy Department of Medicine, Eastern Health, Box Hill
  • Danae A Papachristos Department of Medicine, St Vincent's Health, Fitzroy
  • Nayana George Department of Gastroenterology, Peninsula Health, Frankston
  • Leon Fisher Department of Gastroenterology, Peninsula Health, Frankston


arrhythmias, ventricular standstill, erythromycin


Ventricular standstill (VS) is a potentially fatal arrhythmia that is usually associated with syncope, if prolonged and is rarely asymptomatic[1]. Its mechanism involves either a lack of supraventricular impulse or an interruption in the transmission of these signals from the atria to the ventricles, resulting in a sudden loss of cardiac output[2]. Although rare, ventricular arrhythmias have been associated with intravenous (IV) erythromycin. However, to our knowledge, VS has not been reported following the administration of IV erythromycin. The Authors  describe a rare case of asymptomatic VS and subsequent third-degree atrioventricular block, following the administration of IV erythromycin in a 49-year-old woman with borderline hypokalemia. Through this case, the Authors highlight the importance of cardiac monitoring and electrolyte replacement when administering IV erythromycin, as well as discuss several other mechanisms that contribute to ventricular arrhythmias.



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  • Published: 2016-04-12

    Issue: Vol 3 No 3 (view)

    Section: Articles

    How to cite:
    Khan, S., Ramzy, J., Papachristos, D., George, N., & Fisher, L. (2016). Ventricular Standstill Following Intravenous Erythromycin and Borderline Hypokalemia. European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, 3(3).