Undersensing by an ICD Due to Alternans of the Ventricular Electrogram

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Alternans of the ventricular electrogram (VEGM) during ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a rare cause of ventricular undersensing by an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). This report describes a patient with a St. Jude ICD who exhibited sustained monomorphic VT associated with surface QRS alternans, alternating cycle lengths, alternans of the VEGM causing intermittent undersensing of the smaller component, and intermittent 2:1 counting of ventricular intervals during 1:1 sensing in response to the ICD detection algorithm. VEGM undersensing was corrected noninvasively simply by programming the threshold start from 62.5% to 50% which increased the sensitivity based on the amplitude of the VEGM. This maneuver did not affect the satisfactory and stable defibrillation threshold.

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