Comparison of low-energy versus high-energy biphasic defibrillation shocks following prolonged ventricular fibrillation

Academic Article


  • Introduction. Since the initial development of the defibrillator, there has been concern that, while delivery of a large electric shock would stop fibrillation, it would also cause damage to the heart. This concern has been raised again with the development of the biphasic defibrillator. Objective. To compare defibrillation efficacy, postshock cardiac function, and troponin I levels following 150-J and 360-J shocks. Methods. Nineteen swine were anesthetized with isoflurane and instrumented with pressure catheters in the left ventricle, aorta, and right atrium. The animals were fibrillated for 6 minutes, followed by defibrillation with either low-energy (n 8) or high-energy (n 11) shocks. After defibrillation, chest compressions were initiated and continued until return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Epinephrine, 0.01 mg/kg every 3 minutes, was given for arterial blood pressure < 50 mmHg. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded for four hours. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed and troponin I levels were measured at baseline and four hours following ventricular fibrillation (VF). Results. Survival rates at four hours were not different between the two groups (low-energy, 5 of 8; high-energy, 7 of 11). Results for arterial blood pressure, positive dP/dt (first derivative of pressure measured over time, a measure of left ventricular contractility), and negative dP/dt at the time of lowest arterial blood pressure (ABP) following ROSC were not different between the two groups (p not significant [NS]), but were lower than at baseline. All hemodynamic measures returned to baseline by four hours. Ejection fractions, stroke volumes, and cardiac outputs were not different between the two groups at four hours. Troponin I levels at four hours were not different between the two groups (12 ± 11 ng/mL versus 21 ± 26 ng/mL, p NS) but were higher at four hours than at baseline (19 ± 19 ng/mL versus 0.8 ± 0.5 ng/mL, p < 0.05, groups combined). Conclusion. Biphasic 360-J shocks do not cause more cardiac damage than biphasic 150-J shocks in this animal model of prolonged VF and resuscitation. © 2009 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Walcott GP; Melnick SB; Killingsworth CR; Ideker RE
  • Start Page

  • 62
  • End Page

  • 70
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 1