Electrocardiographic Patterns During Resuscitation After Experimentally Induced Ventricular Fibrillation
Continuous closed-chest massage (mechanized and manual) and ventilation with pure oxygen were performed for 15 and 30-minute periods, to maintain viability in 43 dogs with electrically induced ventricular fibrillation. External countershocks were applied and 32 of the animals lived more than 48 hours. The return of electrical and hemodynamic functions of the heart, as well as the function of the central nervous system, were graded arbitrarily to characterize recovery from poor to excellent. Electrocardiographic changes (lead II) were studied in detail and compared with the gross result of survival or death, and also with more quantitative characterization of recovery.
When the initial electrocardiogram after defibrillation contained a P wave, the prognosis was most favorable. When the P wave was absent the amount of ST segment depression in the initial complex differentiated the better from the poorer results.
During the first hour following defibrillation, a variety of arrhythmias was noted, as well as varying degrees of change in the R, T, and ST portions of the electrocardiogram. The most serious arrhythmias, in decreasing severity, were idioventricular rhythm, atrio-ventricular block, and multiple premature ventricular contractions. Recovery was poorest when multiple arrhythmias occurred. Changes in the voltage of the R and T waves could not be correlated with prognosis. However, more favorable recoveries were noted in animals without significant changes in the ST segment than in animals having ST segment depression greater than 4 mm.
- Received February 3, 1964.
- © 1964 American Heart Association, Inc.