Electrical shocks delivered for atrial cardioversion (CV) may cause myocardial damage. The aim of this study was to assess the extent of myocardial injury caused by repeated intracardiac shocks delivered for low-energy internal atrial CV. Thirty-five patients with chronic persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) of different etiologies underwent CV with delivery of synchronized biphasic shocks (3.0/3.0 ms) between two catheters positioned in the right atrium and the coronary sinus. Shocks were delivered according to a step-up protocol (50 V, 180 V, then steps of 40 to 56 V up to 500 V, if necessary). In 23 patients, AF was reinduced after baseline CV, and CV was repeated. Myocardial injury was monitored by measuring cardiac troponin I (cTnI) serum concentrations in blood samples taken at baseline and at 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 h after the procedure, by means of an immunoenzymologic assay (normal values, < or =0.6 ng/mL). A mean (+/- SD) of 6.9 +/- 3.4 shocks per patient were delivered (range, 2 to 17). Shocks delivered in each patient had a maximal energy of 7.3 +/- 4.0 J (range, 1.7 to 15.7). In 20 patients (57%), no evidence of myocardial injury (cTnI level, < or = 0.6 ng/mL) was found. In 13 patients (37%), mildly elevated cTnI level...Continue Reading
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