Experimental verification of theoretical predictions concerning the optimum defibrillation waveform.
The efficacy of electrical therapy at terminating ventricular fibrillation is highly dependent on the waveform used. We present experimental results which test one theory for defibrillation waveform dependence. Forty-four defibrillation waveforms (22 monophasic, 22 biphasic) were designed according to the theoretical construct of Fishier (2000). The waveforms were then tested on 67 male guinea pigs (46 for monophasic, 21 for biphasic waveforms) using a custom designed defibrillator and 12-mm subcutaneous disc electrodes. There was considerable agreement between the theoretical and experimental results. For example, as predicted, the ascending exponential waveform of 1 ms proved to be the most effective (86.4%) monophasic waveform, where efficacy is the number of successful shocks divided by the total number delivered. In addition, the efficacy decrease with duration increase was accurately predicted by the model for monophasic waveforms. For biphasic waveforms, as predicted by the model, when the first phase was optimized, an increase in second phase duration caused an increase in defibrillation efficacy (10 of 11 tested duration pairs). We conclude that the theoretical framework adequately explains the mechanism by which the defibrillation waveform affects efficacy for monophasic waveforms and, in at least one aspect, biphasic waveforms.
Malkin, RA; Jackson, SR; Nguyen, J; Yang, Z; Guan, D
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