Chemical and Biological Effects of Digoxin on Albino Rat Fetuses
Keywords:Digoxin, Teratogenicity, Gestation
Digoxin is used in thetreatment of chronic heart failureand/or atrial fibrillation and flutter(irregular heart rhythms caused by an electrical problem in theupper chambers of the heart).The aim of this study was to evaluate the teratogenic effects of Digoxin on pregnant rats and their fetuses. Pregnant albino rats (Rattusnorvegicus) were administrated daily oral doses of 0.3mg/kg of Digoxin from the5th- 19thday of gestation. The animals were sacrificed at the 20th day of gestation. Fetuses were removed from the uterus and evaluated for mortality rate, growth parameters, morphological and skeletal malformation as well as histological study of liver, kidney and brain. Results showed significant reduction in weight gain of pregnant rats and decreased placental weight of pregnant rats treated with Digoxin. Fetal growth retardation during gestational period was recorded. Hematomas and anomalies of limbswere noticed morphologically in the fetuses of the treated group. Fetal skeletal abnormalities were also recorded. These abnormalities included weak ossification of the skull bones roof. Histopathological studies of fetuses during gestation revealed presence of few megakaryoblasts in between hepatocytes in the liver, no histopathological alternations were observed in kidney of the treated group while in the brain tissue edema that was noticed in the meningesfollowing Digoxin administration. Digoxin pretreatment was able to increase the level of lipid peroxidation and it decreased the GSH level. Our findings suggest the need for great caution to handle Digoxin especially during pregnancy.
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