Background-We tested the hypothesis that the shape of the shock waveform affects not only the defibrillation threshold but also the amount of cardiac damage. Methods and Results-Defibrillation thresholds were determined for 11 waveforms-3 ascending-ramp waveforms, 3 descending-ramp waveforms, 3 rectilinear first-phase biphasic waveforms, a Gurvich waveform, and a truncated exponential biphasic waveform-in 6 pigs with electrodes in the right ventricular apex and superior vena cava. The ascending, descending, and rectilinear waveforms had 4-, 8-, and 16-millisecond first phases and a 3.5-millisecond rectilinear second phase that was half the voltage of the first phase. The exponential biphasic waveform had a 60% first-phase and a 50% second-phase tilt. In a second study, we attempted to defibrillate after 10 seconds of ventricular fibrillation with a single 30-J shock (6 pigs successfully defibrillated with 8-millisecond ascending, 8-millisecond rectilinear, and truncated exponential biphasic waveforms). Troponin I blood levels were determined before and 2 to 10 hours after the shock. The lowest-energy defibrillation threshold was for the 8-milliseconds ascending ramp (14.6±7.3 J [mean±SD]), which was significantly less than for the truncated exponential (19.6±6.3 J). Six hours after shock, troponin I was significantly less for the ascending-ramp waveform (0.80±0.54 ng/mL) than for the truncated exponential (1.92±0.47 ng/mL) or the rectilinear waveform (1.17±0.45 ng/mL). Conclusions-The ascending ramp has a significantly lower defibrillation threshold and at ≈ 30 J causes 58% less troponin I release than the truncated exponential biphasic shock. Therefore, the shock waveform affects both the defibrillation threshold and the amount of cardiac damage. © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.