PMID: 760477Feb 1, 1979Paper

Cardiac damage produced by direct current countershock applied to the heart

The American Journal of Cardiology
P W DohertyD C Harrison


This study examined the pathophysiology of the myocaridal damage produced by direct current shock over a dose range of 10 to 90 watt-seconds, applied directly to the heart in 26 dosgs. The extent of injury produced was assessed with creatine kinase depletion and light and electron microscopy, and was correlated with in vivo imaging and tissue distributions of the isotopes technetium-99m pyrophosphate and thallium-201. Changes in intramyocardial temperature and regional myocardial blood flow were also measured. Uptake of technetium-99m pyrophosphate occurred exponentially with graded increases in shocks, and this agent was more sensitive than thallium-201 in detecting injury both on imaging and at tissue level. The threshold for significant injury was approximately 30 watt-seconds, and on electron microscopy a characteristic feature was marked dehiscence of the intercalated disks between the damaged myocytes. The use of different-size paddles did not appear to affect the total number of cells damaged. However, with large paddles the injury was more superficial and spread over a wider area. With short time intervals between successive shocks, a greater amount of injury occurred, in part because of a compounding of the thermal com...Continue Reading


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