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Circulation. 2007 Mar 27;115(12):1511-7. Epub 2007 Mar 12.

BIPHASIC Trial: a randomized comparison of fixed lower versus escalating higher energy levels for defibrillation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Ottawa Health Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1Y 4E9. istiell@ohri.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is little clear evidence as to the optimal energy levels for initial and subsequent shocks in biphasic waveform defibrillation. The present study compared fixed lower- and escalating higher-energy regimens for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare Fixed Versus Escalating Energy Regimens for Biphasic Waveform Defibrillation (BIPHASIC Trial) was a multicenter, randomized controlled trial of 221 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients who received > or = 1 shock given by biphasic automated external defibrillator devices that were randomly programmed to provide, blindly, fixed lower-energy (150-150-150 J) or escalating higher-energy (200-300-360 J) regimens. Patient mean age was 66.0 years; 79.6% were male. The cardiac arrest was witnessed in 63.8%; a bystander performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation in 23.5%; and initial rhythm was ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia in 92.3%. The fixed lower- and escalating higher-energy regimen cases were similar for the 106 multishock patients and for all 221 patients. In the primary analysis in multishock patients, conversion rates differed significantly (fixed lower, 24.7%, versus escalating higher, 36.6%; P=0.035; absolute difference, 11.9%; 95% CI, 1.2 to 24.4). Ventricular fibrillation termination rates also were significantly different between groups (71.2% versus 82.5%; P=0.027; absolute difference, 11.3%; 95% CI, 1.6 to 20.9). For the secondary analysis of first shock success, conversion rates were similar between the fixed lower and escalating higher study groups (38.4% versus 36.7%; P=0.92), as were ventricular fibrillation termination rates (86.8% versus 88.8%; P=0.81). There were no distinguishable differences between regimens for survival outcomes or adverse effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is the first randomized trial to compare fixed lower and escalating higher biphasic energy regimens in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and it demonstrated higher rates of ventricular fibrillation conversion and termination with an escalating higher-energy regimen for patients requiring multiple shocks. These results suggest that patients in ventricular fibrillation benefit from higher biphasic energy levels if multiple defibrillation shocks are required.

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