Double Sequential External Defibrillation in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Refractory to DC Cardioversion

2019-02-07 18:37:16 | BioPortfolio


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia that leads to increased risk of heart failure, hospitalization, thromboembolic events, and death. Restoration of normal heart rhythm is performed in many patients with AF to improve symptoms. In this study, the investigators will consider patients who fail 2 or more trials of DC cardioversion as having refractory AF.

The aim of this study is to assess whether the use of double sequential defibrillation in patients with refractory AF has a higher success rate in reverting them to a normal heart rhythm than a third cardioversion.

This is a phase III, randomized controlled, single-centered, superiority trial. All patients with AF admitted to the coronary care unit (CCU) for DC cardioversion, and refractory to at least two trials of DC cardioversion will be enrolled. Patients are randomized into two arms: the first will receive a third trial of DC cardioversion (standard of care) and the second will receive double sequential external defibrillation.

The resolution of AF by reverting back to normal sinus rhythm is the primary outcome of the investigators. This will be determined using EKG (electrocardiogram) immediately after DC cardioversion or double sequential defibrillation.


Patients presenting to the CCU with persistent AF for direct current (DC) cardioversion, who meet the inclusion criteria and fail to revert to normal sinus rhythm after two DC cardioversion attempts will be invited for enrollment in the study. No sampling will be carried out for the sake of this study.

Patients meeting the eligibility criteria will receive double sequential external defibrillation (DSED) or a third DC cardioversion (standard of care).

DSED is the process of using two defibrillators near simultaneously at their highest allowed energy setting and aims to treat refractory atrial fibrillation. The first set of pads is placed in the traditional anterolateral position and the second set can be either placed adjacent to the first set (antero-lateral) or in the antero-posterior position. Shocks are then delivered simultaneously or near simultaneously.

Study Design


Atrial Fibrillation


Double sequential external defibrillation


American University of Beirut Medical Center




American University of Beirut Medical Center

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-02-07T18:37:16-0500

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Rapid, irregular atrial contractions caused by a block of electrical impulse conduction in the right atrium and a reentrant wave front traveling up the inter-atrial septum and down the right atrial free wall or vice versa. Unlike ATRIAL FIBRILLATION which is caused by abnormal impulse generation, typical atrial flutter is caused by abnormal impulse conduction. As in atrial fibrillation, patients with atrial flutter cannot effectively pump blood into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES).

Long-term changes in the electrophysiological parameters and/or anatomical structures of the HEART ATRIA that result from prolonged changes in atrial rate, often associated with ATRIAL FIBRILLATION or long periods of intense EXERCISE.

A cardiotonic glycoside obtained mainly from Digitalis lanata; it consists of three sugars and the aglycone DIGOXIGENIN. Digoxin has positive inotropic and negative chronotropic activity. It is used to control ventricular rate in ATRIAL FIBRILLATION and in the management of congestive heart failure with atrial fibrillation. Its use in congestive heart failure and sinus rhythm is less certain. The margin between toxic and therapeutic doses is small. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p666)

Impaired or delayed impulse conduction between the right and left HEART ATRIA. Advanced interatrial blocks are often associated with arrhythmias (e.g., ATRIAL FLUTTER; and ATRIAL FIBRILLATION), direct conduction block via the Bachmann's bundle and concomitant left atrial enlargement. Syndrome of advanced interatrial block associated with SUPRAVENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA is referred to as Bayes syndrome.

A sudden CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA (e.g., VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION) caused by a blunt, non-penetrating impact to the precordial region of chest wall. Commotio cordis often results in sudden death without prompt cardiopulmonary defibrillation.

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