Cardioversione elettrica esterna in pazienti con fibrillazione atriale: Confronto fra tre differenti forme di onda

Translated title of the contribution: External electrical cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation: Comparison of three different waveforms

Maurizio Santomauro, Alessio Borrelli, Luca Ottaviano, Angelo Costanzo, Nicola Monteforte, Carlo Duilio, Massimo Chiariello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Transthoracic electrical cardioversion represents the most effective therapy in converting atrial fibrillation (AF) to sinus rhythm. External cardioverter-defibrillators discharge a current with monophasic and most recently biphasic waveforms. Lately, many articles support the superiority of the biphasic waveform over the monophasic one. Moreover, we have the opportunity to use different biphasic waveforms. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy (success rate and energy delivered) of a monophasic wave and two different biphasic waves, in patients with persistent AF undergoing external electrical cardioversion. The monophasic wave was delivered by a Zoll M series M PDMA-9, while the so-called "rectilinear" biphasic waveform was used by a Zoll M series PDM-7S and the biphasic truncated exponential wave by a Laerdal Heartstart 4000. Methods. Sixty-four patients with clinical indications to undergo external electrical cardioversion were randomized into three groups. All the groups were homogeneous for almost all characteristics, particularly atrial dimensions, body surface area, and duration of AF and therapy. Eighteen patients underwent external cardioversion with monophasic waveform (group I), 22 patients were treated with rectilinear biphasic waveform (group II), and 24 patients with biphasic truncated waveform (group III). A cardioversion protocol, providing up to 5 shocks, with incremental energy levels was used. A blood sample was obtained 6 hours later to evaluate myocardial damage due to shock therapy for each patient. Results. Both biphasic devices demonstrated to be more effective than the monophasic one (group I 78%, group II 95%, group III 100%). Moreover, none of them caused any significant myocardial damage, evaluated in terms of cardiac enzyme release. Nonetheless, the biphasic truncated exponential wave demonstrated an efficiency of 100% compared to 95% of the rectilinear one and 78% of the monophasic one, using less energy/patient (873 ± 100 J group I, 390 ± 48 J group II, and 280 ± 42 J group III), at almost the same shock attempts. Conclusions. Biphasic truncated exponential wave seems to be more effective at a lower energy level.

Translated title of the contributionExternal electrical cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation: Comparison of three different waveforms
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalItalian Heart Journal Supplement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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