A new UK study, published online on July 30 in Resusitation,is claiming that the two main waveforms that are used in elective cardioversion of AF are comparably similar in terms of how successful the treatment is.

“Current defibrillator manufacturers use a range of different biphasic waveforms claiming specific benefits for their defibrillators,” Dr. Charles D. Deakin told Reuters Health by email. “This study did not demonstrate any significant difference between two commonly-used waveforms, although there was a trend towards greater efficacy with the biphasic rectilinear waveform in patients with high impedance (i.e. large body mass).”

This study was conducted by Deakin and his colleagues at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust. The researchers for the study believe that the waveforms — the biphasic rectilinear (BR) and biphasic truncated exponential (BTE) — do have a few significant differences, however, when it comes to the extremes of transthoracic impedance (TTI). As a means of finding out whether the waveform changed the outcome, the researchers analyzed data collected from 199 random participants that received synchronized defibrillation by using either a BR or BTE waveform. The waveforms used a “50 to 200 joules selected-energy escalating protocol,” according to an article on Medscape. If patients didn’t receive the cardioversion after the fifth shock, the experiment was deemed as failure.

The results as posted on Medscape show that “the median number of shocks to achieve cardioversion was 2 for the BR waveform and 3 for the BTE waveform (p=0.059). Sinus rhythm was achieved in 95 percent of the BR group and 91 percent of the BE group, with the latter approach requiring 117 J more energy (p=0.838).

“No statistically significant difference was shown between the waveforms in either cumulative or step-wise energy delivered or the number of shocks required to achieve cardioversion,” the researchers stated.

One thing the team did note is that more research is needed to confirm that biphasic waveforms really do change how effective it is. Cardioversion is a popular treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation. Another common form of treatment is anticoagulant medication like Multaq, made by Sanofi-Aventis. Multaq has been linked to liver failure and a worsening of the heart condition.

If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure or a worsening heart condition after being treated with Multaq, contact the attorneys at Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.