Is the second phase of a biphasic defibrillation waveform the defibrillating phase?
Why some biphasic waveforms defibrillate with lower energies than monophasic waveforms of similar duration is unknown. One hypothesis is that the first phase of a biphasic waveform acts as a conditioning, hyperpolarizing prepulse to prepare for defibrillation by a second depolarizing phase. To test whether the second phase of a biphasic waveform is the defibrillating phase, three monophasic waveforms, an ascending ramp (A), a square wave (S), and a descending ramp (D), were compared to three biphasic waveforms with A, S, or D in the first phase (biphasic first phase) and three biphasic waveforms with A, S, or D in the second phase (biphasic second phase). Two defibrillation thresholds for each waveform were performed in 18 open chest pigs and mean defibrillation thresholds were compared. In nine pigs 16-msec monophasic and 16/16-msec biphasic waveforms were ranked by mean current and energy at defibrillation threshold. The ranks were the same for monophasic and biphasic second phase waveforms: for mean current A < S = D and for energy A < S < D. The ranks were different for the biphasic first phase waveforms: for mean current S < A = D and for energy S < A = D. Although ranks for the 16-msec monophasic waveforms matched those for the 16/16-msec biphasic second phase waveforms, the biphasic waveforms had higher mean currents and energies at defibrillation threshold. In nine pigs defibrillation thresholds for 6-msec monophasic and 6/6-msec biphasic waveforms were ranked. For mean current the ranks were monophasic: A < S = D; biphasic first phase: A = S = D; and biphasic second phase: S = D < A. For energy the ranks were monophasic: A = S < D; biphasic first phase: A = S = D; and biphasic second phase: S = D < A. Thus, ranks for the 6-msec monophasic waveforms differed from those for the 6/6-msec biphasic second phase waveforms. For 16/16-msec biphasic waveforms, less effective for defibrillation than corresponding 16-msec monophasic waveforms, these results support the hypothesis that the second phase of a biphasic waveform defibrillates since the defibrillation efficacy of a 16/16-msec biphasic waveform is related to the defibrillation efficacy of its second phase waveshape. However, for clinically useful 6/6-msec biphasic waveforms, more effective for defibrillation than 6-msec monophasic waveforms, the hypothesis is not supported because the ability of a 6/6-msec biphasic waveform to defibrillate is unrelated to the defibrillation efficacy of its second phase waveshape.
Hillsley, RE; Walker, RG; Swanson, DK; Rollins, DL; Wolf, PD; Smith, WM; Ideker, RE
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