Over two-hundred measurements of the minimum damped sinusoidal current and energy for transchest electrical ventricular defibrillation (ventricular defibrillation threshold) were made to determine the stability and precision of threshold data in 15 pentobarbital-anesthetized dogs. Threshold was determined by repeated trials of fibrillation and defibrillation with successive shocks of diminishing current, each 19% less than that of the preceeding shock. The lowest shock intensity that defibrillated was defined as threshold. In three groups of five dogs each, threshold was measured at intervals of 60, 15, and 5 min. over periods of 8, 5, and 1 hr. respectively. Similar results were obtained for all groups. There was no significant change in mean threshold current with time. Due to a decrease in transchest impedance, threshold delivered energy decreased by 10% during the first hour of testing. The standard deviations for threshold peak current and delivered energy in a given animal were 11 and 22 percent of their respective mean values. Arterial blood pH, pc02, and p02 averaged 7.38, 34 mmHg, and 72 mmHg respectively. The rates of change of pH, pCO2 and p02 were not significantly different from zero. The data demonstrate that ventricular defibrillation threshold is a stable physiologic parameter which may be measured with reasonable precision.


This is the author-accepted manuscript of Babbs C.F., Whistler S.J., Yim G.K.W., Temporal stability and precision of ventricular defibrillation threshold data, American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology 4, H553-H558, 1978.


ventricular defibrillation, heart ventricle, cardiac arrhythmias, resuscitation, sudden death

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