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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 48

of 'Basic principles and technique of electrical cardioversion and defibrillation'

Comparison of the rectilinear biphasic waveform with the monophasic damped sine waveform for external cardioversion of atrial fibrillation and flutter.
Niebauer MJ, Brewer JE, Chung MK, Tchou PJ
Am J Cardiol. 2004;93(12):1495.
External cardioversion using the monophasic damped sine (MDS) waveform is successful 70% to 94% of the time when using up to 360 J. The rectilinear biphasic (RLB) defibrillator has been shown to be superior in efficacy to the MDS waveform in atrial cardioversion in a small randomized study. This larger, retrospective study compares the results of the RLB waveform with those of the MDS waveform for cardioversion of atrial fibrillation (AF) and atrial flutter in a large cohort of patients. We performed 1,877 external cardioversion procedures in 1,361 patients for AF and atrial flutter by using the RLB defibrillator. We compared these results with those of the MDS defibrillator in 2,025 patients who underwent 2,818 cardioversion procedures. The overall success rates for the RLB defibrillator were 99.1% for AF and 99.2% for atrial flutter, and the corresponding success rates for the MDS defibrillator were 92.4% and 99.8% (p<0.001; RLB superior for AF). The median overall successful energy level for the MDS waveform was 200 J, whereas the corresponding RLB energy level was 100 J. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that underlying clinical conditions or use of antiarrhythmic drugs does not significantly affect overall success rates. Our results from>4,000 procedures confirmed and extended those of the previous report by showing a very high success rate for cardioversion of AF and atrial flutter using the RLB waveform. The MDS waveform was equally effective for atrial flutter but significantly less effective in terminating AF.
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, USA. mniebaue@unmc.edu