Discrepancies between the upper limit of vulnerability and defibrillation threshold: Prevalence and clinical predictors

Osnat T. Gurevitz, Paul A. Friedman, Michael Glikson, Jane M. Trusty, Karla V. Ballman, Ana G. Rosales, David L. Hayes, Stephen C. Hammill, Charles D. Swerdlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Upper limit of vulnerability (ULV) has a strong correlation with defibrillation threshold (DFT) in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Significant discrepancies between ULV and DFT are infrequent. The aim of this study was to characterize patients with such discrepancies. Methods and Results: The ULV and DFT were determined in 167 ICD patients. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate clinical predictors of a significant difference (≥10 J) between ULV and DFT. Only 8 patients (5%) had ≥10 J difference. ULV exceeded DFT in all of them. Absence of coronary artery disease (6/8 vs 48/159 patients; P = 0.05) and absence of documented ventricular arrhythmias (4/8 vs 12/159 patients; P = 0.01) were the only independent predictors of a significant ULV-DFT discrepancy. Conclusion: Significant discrepancies between ULV and DFT occur in 5% of patients with ICDs. Absence of coronary disease and documented ventricular arrhythmias predict such a discrepancy. At ICD implant, DFT testing is recommended in these patients and in patients with a high (>20 J) ULV before first-shock energy and the need for lead repositioning are determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-732
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Defibrillation threshold
  • Electrical shocks
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • Upper limit of vulnerability
  • Ventricular arrhythmias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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