Appropriate sensing of ventricular fibrillation after failed shocks in a transvenous cardioverter-defibrillator system.
BACKGROUND Reduction in R-wave amplitude immediately after defibrillation shocks in an integrated shock/sense transvenous cardioverter-defibrillator (TCD) lead system has prompted concerns regarding adequate sensing after failed shocks. We therefore studied redetection characteristics for ventricular fibrillation after unsuccessful defibrillation shocks in a TCD system to determine if these observations have clinical relevance.
METHODS AND RESULTS Fifty patients with this shock/sense TCD lead system underwent conversion testing of their TCD at several time intervals. There were a total of 142 failed shocks events recorded, including 10, 15, 70, and 47 events at implantation, predischarge, and 2- and 6-month testing, respectively. Initial detection time (IDT) and redetection time (RDT) for ventricular fibrillation were measured from event markers for all unsuccessful defibrillation shocks. To assess the effect of failed shocks on electrogram quality, 54 failed shock episodes were evaluated in 37 of the 50 patients by measuring electrograms during VF before and after shock. Mean RDT for the entire group was 5.3 +/- 3.5 seconds compared with an IDT of 4.5 +/- 3.3 seconds (P = NS). There were no significant differences between IDT and RDT at implantation or any follow-up testing period, despite a significant decline in R-wave amplitude from 8.1 +/- 3.5 to 6.8 +/- 2.8 mV (P < .0001) measured 3 to 6 seconds after shock delivery. Analysis of 8 individuals with any extended RDT (> or = 10 seconds) showed no significant differences in clinical or implantation characteristics when compared with 42 individuals without extended RDT.
CONCLUSIONS In this integrated shock/sense TCD lead system, unsuccessful shock delivery has no significant effect on redetection of ventricular fibrillation at device implantation or up to 6 months of follow-up, despite an observed reduction in postshock R-wave amplitude. Therefore, the reported reduction in electrogram quality after a shock is of no practical importance because sensing of ventricular fibrillation does not appear to be compromised in this particular TCD system. Whether this applies to other implantable cardioverter-defibrillator pulse generators and lead systems with different sensing characteristics requires further evaluation.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association