Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circulation. 2009 Aug 11;120(6):467-76. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.825091. Epub 2009 Jul 27.

Termination of atrial fibrillation using pulsed low-energy far-field stimulation.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, T7 012C Veterinary Research Tower, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. fhf3@cornell.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Electrically based therapies for terminating atrial fibrillation (AF) currently fall into 2 categories: antitachycardia pacing and cardioversion. Antitachycardia pacing uses low-intensity pacing stimuli delivered via a single electrode and is effective for terminating slower tachycardias but is less effective for treating AF. In contrast, cardioversion uses a single high-voltage shock to terminate AF reliably, but the voltages required produce undesirable side effects, including tissue damage and pain. We propose a new method to terminate AF called far-field antifibrillation pacing, which delivers a short train of low-intensity electric pulses at the frequency of antitachycardia pacing but from field electrodes. Prior theoretical work has suggested that this approach can create a large number of activation sites ("virtual" electrodes) that emit propagating waves within the tissue without implanting physical electrodes and thereby may be more effective than point-source stimulation.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Using optical mapping in isolated perfused canine atrial preparations, we show that a series of pulses at low field strength (0.9 to 1.4 V/cm) is sufficient to entrain and subsequently extinguish AF with a success rate of 93% (69 of 74 trials in 8 preparations). We further demonstrate that the mechanism behind far-field antifibrillation pacing success is the generation of wave emission sites within the tissue by the applied electric field, which entrains the tissue as the field is pulsed.

CONCLUSIONS:

AF in our model can be terminated by far-field antifibrillation pacing with only 13% of the energy required for cardioversion. Further studies are needed to determine whether this marked reduction in energy can increase the effectiveness and safety of terminating atrial tachyarrhythmias clinically.

PMID:
19635972
PMCID:
PMC2867100
DOI:
10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.825091
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center