Ventricular fibrillation frequency characteristics and time evolution in piglets: A developmental study

Julia H. Indik, Richard L. Donnerstein, Marc D. Berg, Ricardo A. Samson, Robert A. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Derived variables of ventricular fibrillation, such as the frequency distribution by fast Fourier transformation and its evolution over time, have been used to determine the optimum timing for defibrillation. We hypothesized that these frequency variables would differ among neonatal, young child and older child populations due to cardiac developmental and size differences. Such differences may have important implications for developing defibrillation algorithms for pediatric patients and for extrapolating adult defibrillation algorithms to children in VF. Methods: Ventricular fibrillation was induced and recorded for 6 min in 4 kg (n=11), 14 kg (n=10), and 24 kg (n=16) piglets, corresponding to neonatal, young child and older children. Mean, median, and dominant frequencies were computed in 30 s intervals and compared among weight classes. Results: All frequency variables in all weight groups showed first a decline at 1.25-1.75 min, followed by a gradual rise and plateau. There were significant differences for mean, median and dominant frequencies among weight classes. Specifically, 14 kg piglets showed higher frequency variables overall with a time evolution that was different from that of 4 and 24 kg piglets. Mean frequency showed the most stable time evolution with the least moment-to-moment variability. Conclusion: The frequency waveform characteristics and time course are somewhat different in 14 kg piglets compared with 4 and 24 kg piglets. If similar differences are demonstrable among children of different weights and ages, AEDs designed to determine optimal timing of defibrillation shocks in adults by frequency waveform characteristics may require modification for use in children with VF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Child
  • Criança
  • Defibrillation
  • Fast Fourier transformation
  • Fibrilhação ventricular
  • Infant
  • Palavras chave
  • Paragem cardíaca
  • Transformação rápida Fourier
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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