Author(s): Callaway CW, Menegazzi JJ
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Ventricular fibrillation occurs during many cases of cardiac arrest and is treated with rescue shocks. Coarse ventricular fibrillation occurs earlier after the onset of cardiac arrest and is more likely to be converted to an organized rhythm with pulses by rescue shocks. Less organized or fine ventricular fibrillation occurs later, has less power concentrated within narrow frequency bands and lower amplitude, and is less likely to be converted to an organized rhythm by rescue shocks. Quantitative analysis of the ventricular fibrillation waveform may distinguish coarse ventricular fibrillation from fine ventricular fibrillation, allowing more appropriate delivery of rescue shocks. RECENT FINDINGS: A variety of studies in animals and humans indicate that there is underlying structure within the ventricular fibrillation waveform. Highly organized or coarse ventricular fibrillation is characterized by large power contributions from a few component frequencies and higher amplitude. Amplitude, decomposition into power spectra, or probability-based, nonlinear measures all can quantify the organization of human ventricular fibrillation waveforms. Clinical data have accumulated that these quantitative measures, or combinations of these measures, can predict the likelihood of rescue shock success, restoration of circulation, and survival to hospital discharge. SUMMARY: Many quantitative ventricular fibrillation measures could be implemented in current generations of monitors/defibrillators to assist the timing of rescue shocks during clinical care. Emerging data suggest that a period of chest compressions or reperfusion can increase the likelihood of successful defibrillation. Therefore, waveform-based prediction of defibrillation success could reduce the delivery of failed rescue shocks.
This article was published in Curr Opin Crit Care
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology