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The first-generation automatic implantable defibrillator implanted in man sensed arrhythmias by monitoring a transcardiac electrocardiographic signal. This sensing system reliably detected ventricular fibrillation and sinusoidal ventricular tachycardia but failed to sense all nonsinusoidal ventricular tachycardias. To solve this problem, a new ventricular tachycardia detection scheme was developed using a local ventricular bipolar electrogram and electronic circuits using rate averaging and automatic gain control to permit sensing of electrograms down to 0.1 mV. This detection scheme was tested during electrophysiologic studies in 11 patients with ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation. All 22 episodes of induced ventricular tachycardia with a rate above the selected cutoff were detected after an average of 5.1 +/- 1.8 seconds. No episodes below the rate cutoff were detected. The bipolar circuits also reliably detected ventricular fibrillation. Arrhythmia detection and signal quality in 9 patients receiving automatic defibrillators using the new bipolar rate detection circuit were compared with the findings in 5 patients previously receiving units that sensed arrhythmias using the transcardiac electrocardiographic signal. Compared with the transcardiac monitoring units the newer bipolar units had shorter and more uniform sense times (5.5 +/- 1.4 versus 12.2 +/- 7.1 seconds). It is concluded that malignant ventricular tachyarrhythmias can be sensed accurately using bipolar rate detection and that this system has numerous advantages over the previously used transcardiac electrocardiographic signal.
View details for Web of Science ID A1983RC11400011
View details for PubMedID 6869271