Single and dual coil shock efficacy and predictors of shock failure in patients with modern implantable cardioverter defibrillators—a single-center paired randomized study

  • Jacob Moesgaard LarsenEmail author
  • Finn P. Heath
  • Sam Riahi
  • Katja Holm
  • Martin B. Johansen
  • Søren P. Hjortshøj
  • Anna M. Thøgersen



Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can treat life-threatening tachyarrhythmia with high-voltage shocks. The aims were to compare the efficacy of single and dual coil shock vectors in modern ICDs and to identify predictors of shock failure.


This is a single-center paired randomized study including 216 patients with mixed indications and ICDs from four manufacturers. All patients underwent two implant defibrillation tests using single and dual coil vectors with the test order randomized. Tested shock energy differed slightly between manufacturers because of differences in device programmability: first shock approximately 15 J below maximal output—if failed, second shock approximately 10 J below maximal output—if failed, third shock at maximal output.


First shock success rate was 399/432 (92.4%). Comparing single and dual coil vectors, no differences were seen in first shock efficacy (91.7% vs. 93.1%, P = 0.629) or lowest tested succesfully stored energy (27.2 J vs. 27.1 J, P = 0.620). All successive internal shocks failed in 4/432 (0.9%) of inductions requiring external rescue shocks to restore circulation. Multivariate predictors of first shock failure were QRS duration (relative risk 0.81 per 10 ms, P = 0.001), amiodarone treatment (relative risk 3.30, P = 0.003), and body height (relative risk 1.70 per 10 cm, P = 0.019).


Implant defibrillation testing of modern intravenous ICD systems demonstrates high shock efficacy with no difference between single and dual coil vectors.


Implantable cardioverter defibrillator Defibrillation Shock efficacy Leads Coil 



We thank senior biostatistician Søren Lundbye-Christensen for help planning the statistical analysis and research nurses Charlotte Schmidt Skov, Kasper Villefrance and Pauline Gøgsig Johansen for making completion of the study feasible. The study is dedicated to our deceased colleague, consultant cardiologist Ole Eschen PhD, who was a key investigator.


The study was funded by the Department of Cardiology at Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study protocol was approved by the local science ethics committee of the North Denmark Region (N-20110038) and the Danish Data Protection Agency (2008-58-0028).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CardiologyAalborg University HospitalAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Clinical MedicineAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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