Patterns of ventricular activity during catheter defibrillation

M. M. Mower, M. Mirowski, J. F. Spear, E. N. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


In order to clarify the mechanism of ventricular catheter defibrillation in which the electrode distribution and the low energy requirements make a simultaneous depolarization of the entire myocardium unlikely, the electrocardiograms recorded during 120 catheter fibrillation defibrillation episodes in 39 dogs were analyzed. Three distinct, equally distributed defibrillation patterns were observed: immediate resumption of a coordinated rhythm, thought to reflect complete depolarization of the myocardium; increasing coarsening of the fibrillation waveforms interpreted as progressive reduction in the number of fibrillating fibers with reversion when a critical mass of myocardium with synchronized activity is reached, and production of more coordinated 'flutter like' ventricular complexes probably representing a rhythm distinct from fibrillation and convertible to sinus rhythm by a second subthreshold shock. These observations suggest that total depolarization of the entire myocardium is not a prerequisite for ventricular defibrillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-861
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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