Objectives: This study tested the hypothesis that a biphasic defibrillation waveform with an ascending first phase (ASC) causes less myocardial damage by pathology and injury current than a standard biphasic truncated exponential (BTE) waveform in a swine model. Background: Although lifesaving, defibrillation shocks have significant iatrogenic effects that reduce their benefit for patient survival. Methods: An ASC waveform with an 8-ms linear ramp followed by an additional positive 0.5-ms decaying portion with amplitudes of 20 J (ASC 20J) and 25 J (ASC 25J) was used. The control was a 25-J BTE conventional waveform (BTE 25J) Results: The ASC 20J and ASC 25J shocks were both successful in 6 of 6 pigs, but the BTE 25J was successful in only 6 of 14 pigs (p < 0.05). Post-shock ST-segment elevation (injury current) in the right ventricular electrode was significantly greater with BTE 25J than with ASC 20J and ASC 25J. With a blinded pathology reading, hemorrhage, inflammation, thrombi, and necrosis 24 h post-shock were significantly greater with BTE 25J than with ASC 20J and ASC 25J. Troponin levels were also markedly lower at 3, 4, 5, and 6 h post-shock. Conclusions: Defibrillation shocks cause electrophysiological, histological, and biochemical signs of myocardial damage and necrosis. These signs of damage are markedly less for an ASC waveform than for a conventional BTE waveform.