Synchronization as a mechanism for low-energy anti-fibrillation pacing


Low-energy anti-fibrillation pacing (LEAP) has been suggested as an alternative treatment in symptomatic fibrillation patients. It significantly lowers the energy required compared with standard 1-shock defibrillation. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we investigated the mechanism of arrhythmia termination by LEAP and systematically analyzed the influence of shock period and timing on the success rate of LEAP. METHODS: We induced atrial and ventricular fibrillation in isolated canine hearts and applied LEAP and standard 1-shock defibrillation to terminate the arrhythmia. We simulated the arrhythmia and LEAP using a 2-dimensional bidomain human atrial model. RESULTS: The ex vivo experiments showed successful termination of atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation using LEAP, with an average 88textpercent and 81textpercent energy reduction, respectively, and both experiments and simulations verified that synchronization from virtual electrodes is the key mechanism for termination of arrhythmia by LEAP using modified Kuramoto phase plots and fraction of tissue excited (FTE) plots. We also observed in simulations that LEAP is more effective when the shock period is close to the dominant period and the first shock is delivered when FTE is decreasing. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support synchronization as the mechanism for arrhythmia termination by LEAP, and its effectiveness can be improved by adjusting shock period and timing.

Heart Rhythm 14: 1254–1262