Overlapping sequential pulses. A new waveform for transthoracic defibrillation.
BACKGROUND A directionally changing shock electrical vector could facilitate defibrillation by depolarizing myocytes with different orientations vis-à-vis the shock field. Such a changing vector can be achieved by a new waveform for transthoracic defibrillation: overlapping sequential pulses. Our purpose was to evaluate this waveform.
METHODS AND RESULTS Ventricular fibrillation was induced in closed-chest dogs. Single and overlapping truncated exponential waveform pulse shocks were then administered from self-adhesive chest electrodes. Single pulse (control) shocks were 7.5-millisecond duration, while the sequential overlapping pulse shocks, using two different pathways, consisted of two pulses, each 5.0-millisecond duration; the second pulse began 2.5 milliseconds after the start of the first pulse and ended 2.5 milliseconds after the end of the first pulse. Thus, the total duration of the sequential overlapping shock was 7.5 milliseconds. During the overlap phase (2.5 milliseconds), the electrical vector orientation is the summation of the individual vectors. Two different electrode placements and corresponding electrical vector orientations were studied: group 1 (n = 14), left lower chest to right upper chest (pulse 1), overlapped by right lower chest to left upper chest (pulse 2), with the sequence then reversed; and group 2 (n = 11), left chest to right chest (pulse 1) overlapped by dorsal (vertebral column) to ventral (sternum) (pulse 2) with the sequence then reversed. At voltages equivalent to energies of 50, 100, and 150 J, the sequential overlapping pulse shocks achieve higher success rates than the single pulse shocks: At the low energy, 50 J, single pulse shock success rates were 0% (group 2) and 14% (group 1), while the overlapping pulse shocks achieved success rates of 39% (group 2) and 55% (group 1) (P < .05). Similarly, at the highest energy tested, 150 J, single pulse shock success rates were 45% (group 2) and 61% (group 1), while the overlapping pulse shock success was 91% (group 2) and 95% (group 1) (P < .05). In a third group of dogs (n = 3), intracardiac plunge electrodes placed orthogonally in the septum showed that the orthogonal components of intracardiac voltage gradient change varied markedly during the three phases of the sequential overlapping shocks, demonstrating the changing direction of the net electrical vector as the shock proceeded. In a fourth group of dogs (n = 5), short-duration (2.5-millisecond) single pulse shocks were compared with longer 7.5-millisecond single pulse shocks and with the sequential overlapping pulse shocks, all at equivalent energies. Despite substantially higher current flow, the 2.5-millisecond-duration single pulse shocks were not more effective than 7.5-millisecond single pulse shocks, and both 2.5- and 7.5-millisecond duration single pulse shocks had markedly inferior success rates compared with the sequential overlapping pulse shocks.
CONCLUSIONS Sequential overlapping pulse shock waveforms facilitate defibrillation compared with single pulse shocks of the same total energy. This is due at least in part to the changing orientation of the electrical vector during the multiple pulse shock.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association