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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1995 Jan;18(1 Pt 2):221-4.

A long thin electrode is equivalent to a short thick electrode for defibrillation in the right ventricle.

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  • 1University of Kentucky, Lexington.


We hypothesized that a long thin right ventricular (RV) electrode would have equivalent defibrillation threshold (DFT) performance to a short thick electrode with approximately the same surface area. This could lead to thinner transvenous lead systems, which would be easier to implant. A thin (5.1 French) lead was compared to a standard control (10.7 French). The thin lead had an 8-cm RV electrode length with a surface area of 4.26 cm2. The standard lead had a RV electrode length of 3.7 cm and a surface area of 4.12 cm2. A 140-mu French capacitor 65%/65% tilt biphasic defibrillation shock was delivered between the RV electrode and a 14-cm2 subcutaneous patch. DFTs were determined following 10 seconds of fibrillation in 11 dogs by a triple determination averaging technique. The thin lead had a lower resistance (77.1 +/- 27.4 omega vs 88.9 +/- 30.3 omega, P < 0.001) than did the thick lead. There was no significant difference in stored energy DFTs (9.9 +/- 2.5 vs 10.3 +/- 2.7, P = 0.098 2-sided, P = 0.049 1- sided). This was in spite of the fact that the long thin lead had a portion of its RV coil extending above the tricuspid valve and, thus, not contributing efficiently to the ventricular gradients in the small dog heart. We conclude that a long thin right ventricular electrode and a standard short thick electrode had equivalent defibrillation performance. This preliminary result should be confirmed in clinical studies as it could lead to significantly thinner transvenous lead systems.

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