Low Energy Multi-Stage Atrial Defibrillation Therapy Terminates Atrial Fibrillation with Less Energy than a Single Shock
Background—Implantable device therapy of atrial fibrillation (AF) is limited by pain from high-energy shocks. We developed a low-energy multi-stage defibrillation therapy and tested it in a canine model of AF.
Methods and Results—AF was induced by burst pacing during vagus nerve stimulation. Our novel defibrillation therapy consisted of three stages: ST1 (1-4 low energy biphasic shocks), ST2 (6-10 ultra-low energy monophasic shocks), and ST3 (anti-tachycardia pacing). Firstly, ST1 testing compared single or multiple monophasic (MP) and biphasic (BP) shocks. Secondly, several multi-stage therapies were tested: ST1 versus ST1+ST3 versus ST1+ST2+ST3. Thirdly, three shock vectors were compared: superior vena cava to distal coronary sinus (SVC>CSd), proximal coronary sinus to left atrial appendage (CSp>LAA) and right atrial appendage to left atrial appendage (RAA>LAA). The atrial defibrillation threshold (DFT) of 1BP shock was less than 1MP shock (0.55 ± 0.1 versus 1.38 ± 0.31 J; p =0.003). 2-3 BP shocks terminated AF with lower peak voltage than 1BP or 1MP shock and with lower atrial DFT than 4 BP shocks. Compared to ST1 therapy alone, ST1+ST3 lowered the atrial DFT moderately (0.51 ± 0.46 versus 0.95 ± 0.32 J; p = 0.036) while a three-stage therapy, ST1+ST2+ST3, dramatically lowered the atrial DFT (0.19 ± 0.12 J versus 0.95 ± 0.32 J for ST1 alone, p=0.0012). Finally, the three-stage therapy ST1+ST2+ST3 was equally effective for all studied vectors.
Conclusions—Three-stage electrotherapy significantly reduces the AF defibrillation threshold and opens the door to low energy atrial defibrillation at or below the pain threshold.
- Received June 30, 2011.
- Accepted September 14, 2011.
- Copyright © 2011, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited