Advance prediction of transthoracic impedance in human defibrillation and cardioversion: Importance of impedance in determining the success of low-energy shocks

R. E. Kerber, C. Kouba, J. Martins, K. Kelly, Reginald Low, R. Hoyt, D. Ferguson, L. Bailey, P. Bennett, F. Charbonnier

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Abstract

The purposes of this study were to evaluate a method that predicts transthoracic impedance in advance of defibrillating shocks in humans and to assess the importance of transthoracic impedance in low-energy defibrillation. Via defibrillator electrodes we applied 31 kHz current to the chest during the defibrillator charge cycle, before the defibrillating shock was actually delivered. The current flow was limited by transthoracic impedance; a microprocessor monitored the predischarge current flow and determined the predischarge impedance by calibration against known resistance values. Actual impedance to the defibrillating shock was also determined and compared with the predicted impedance. With this approach we predicted impedance in 189 patients who received 66 shocks for ventricular arrhythmias. Predicted impedance (y) correlated very well with actual impedance (x): y = .90x + 11.3; r = .97. To determine the importance of impedance in defibrillation and cardioversion, we prospectively gathered data from 96 patients who received shocks of various energies for ventricular or atrial arrhythmias. In patients with high transthoracic impedance (> 97 Ω), low-energy shocks (≤ 100 J) for ventricular defibrillation had only a 20% success rate as opposed to a 70% success rate for low-energy shocks in patients with low or average impedance (p < .05). We conclude that transthoracic impedance can be accurately predicted in advance of defibrillation and cardioversion. This method permits the preshock identification of patients with high impedance in whom attempts to defibrillate with low-energy shocks are inappropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalCirculation
Volume70
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Kerber, R. E., Kouba, C., Martins, J., Kelly, K., Low, R., Hoyt, R., Ferguson, D., Bailey, L., Bennett, P., & Charbonnier, F. (1984). Advance prediction of transthoracic impedance in human defibrillation and cardioversion: Importance of impedance in determining the success of low-energy shocks. Circulation, 70(2), 303-308.