Right ventricular insertion promotes reinitiation of ventricular fibrillation in defibrillation failure

Academic Article


  • Background: Shocks near defibrillation threshold (nDFT) strength commonly extinguish all ventricular fibrillation (VF) wavefronts, but a train of rapid, well-organized postshock activations (PAs) typically appears before sinus rhythm ensues. If one of the PA waves undergoes partial propagation block (wavebreak), reentry may be induced, causing VF to reinitiate and the shock to fail. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether wavebreak leading to VF reinititation following nDFT shocks occurs preferentially at the right ventricular insertion (RVI), which previous studies have identified as a key site for wavebreak. Methods: We used panoramic optical mapping to image the ventricular epicardium of 6 isolated swine hearts during nDFT defibrillation episodes. After each experiment, the hearts were fixed and their geometry scanned with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI and mapping datasets were spatially coregistered. For failed shocks, we identified the site of the first wavebreak of a PA wave during VF reinitiation. Results: We recorded 59 nDFT failures. In 31 of these, the first wavebreak event occurred within 1 cm of the RVI centerline, most commonly on the anterior side of the right ventricular insertion (aRVI) (23/31). The aRVI region occupies 16.8% ± 2.5% of the epicardial surface and would be expected to account for only 10 wavebreaks if they were uniformly distributed. By χ2 analysis, aRVI wavebreaks were significantly overrepresented. Conclusion: The anterior RVI is a key site in promoting nDFT failure. Targeting this site to prevent wavebreak could convert defibrillation failure to success and improve defibrillation efficacy.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Heart Rhythm  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Iijima K; Zhang H; Strachan MT; Huang J; Walcott GP; Rogers JM
  • Start Page

  • 995
  • End Page

  • 1003
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 6