Pacing following shocks stronger than the defibrillation threshold: Impact on defibrillation outcome

Academic Article


  • Introduction: A recent study of shocks near defibrillation threshold (DFT) strength demonstrated that at least three rapid cycles always occur after failed shocks but not after successful shocks, suggesting that the number and rapidity of postshock cycles are important in determining defibrillation success. To test this hypothesis, rapid pacing was performed following a shock stronger than the DFT that by itself did not induce rapid cycles and ventricular fibrillation (VF). Methods and Results: Epicardial activation was mapped in six pigs using a 504-electrode sock. The DFT was determined by an up/down protocol with S1 shocks (right ventricle-superior vena cava, biphasic). Ten shocks that were 10O to 200 V above the DFT (aDFT) were delivered after 10 seconds of VF to confirm they always defibrillated. Then, S2, S3, etc., pacing at 5 to 10 times diastolic threshold was performed from the left ventricular apex after aDFT shocks during VF. First, the postshock interval after aDFT shocks was scanned with an S2 stimulus to find the shortest S1-S2 coupling interval (CI) that captured. This was repeated for S3, S4, etc., until VF was induced. To induce VF after aDFT shocks, three pacing stimuli (S2, S3, S4) with progressively shorter CIs were always required; S2 or S2, S3 never induced VF. For the S2-S4 cycles, the intercycle interval was shorter (P < 0.01), and the wavefront conduction time was longer (P < 0.01) for episodes in which VF was induced (n = 57) than for episodes in which it was not (n = 60). Following the S4 cycle that induced VF, two types of spontaneous activation patterns appeared: focal (88%) and reentrant (12%). Conclusion: VF induction after aDFT shocks always required at least three rapid successive paced-induced cycles. Thus, the number and rapidity of the first several postshock cycles rather than just the first postshock cycle may be determining factors for defibrillation outcome.
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    Author List

  • Chattipakorn N; Fotuhi PC; Ideker RE
  • Start Page

  • 1022
  • End Page

  • 1028
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 9