Effect of failed defibrillation shocks on electrogram amplitude in a nonintegrated transvenous defibrillation lead system

Peter A. Brady, Paul A. Friedman, Marshall S. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Concern has been raised regarding the ability of a nonthoracotomy integrated lead system to redetect ventricular fibrillation following failed defibrillation shocks due to diminution in postshock intracardiac electrogram amplitude. Whether such a problem could occur with other lead systems is not known, leading to uncertainty regarding a potential ongoing risk of sudden cardiac death in some patients despite implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy. To investigate this problem, we measured the amplitude of 10 consecutive ventricular fibrillation endocardial electrograms immediately before and immediately after failed defibrillation shocks in 15 patients at the time of implantation of a nonintegrated, transvenous, pace/sense/defibrillation lead. Overall, mean electrogram amplitude decreased 21%, from 10.7 ± 4.6 mV before to 8.5 ± 4.9 mV immediately after failed defibrillation shocks. The change in electrogram amplitude postshock was directly related to shock energy (r = 0.85, p < 0.0005), but shock waveform had no differential effect. Electrogram amplitude could also increase after failed shocks, particularly following those of low energy. No failures to redetect ventricular fibrillation were found. Thus, intracardiac electrogram amplitude is reduced following failed defibrillation shocks in this nonintegrated lead system, but by an amount less than that previously reported for some integrated lead systems. Our findings reveal that failed low energy defibrillation shocks are likely to result in less diminution in postshock intracardiac electrogram amplitude than high energy shocks, and that the postshock amplitude may even increase after some failed shocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-584
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 15 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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