Prevention of recurrent atrial fibrillation and flutter remains a difficult clinical problem. Consequently, development of an easily implantable automatic atrial cardioverter defibrillator is appealing. In this context we have examined the feasibility of intracavitary low-energy shocks delivered via transvenously positioned electrodes for termination of induced atrial tachyarrhythmias in canine models. This study extends these observations with use of single-pathway (5 msec pulse duration) and dual-pathway sequential ( 5 5 msec, 0.2 msec separation) shocks of varying leading edge voltages (100 to 400 V) in a closed-chest canine talc-pericarditis model. Bipolar 9.5 French electrode catheters (electrode surface areas, 0.62 cm2) were positioned at the superior vena cava-right atrium (SVC-RA) junction (labeled SVC) and right ventricular (RV) apex, with a subcutaneous plate over the chest wall. For single-pathway shocks, overall treatment effectiveness was comparable among the three vectors tested (RV apex to SVC, 35%; RV apex to subcutaneous plate, 17%; and SVC to subcutaneous plate, 35%). Furthermore, there was no evident relationship between leading edge voltage and shock effectiveness. In conrast, although each of the dual-pathway shock vector combinations tested also showed similar overall effectiveness, there was an apparent dose-response effect as leading edge voltage increased. The SVC (common) to RV apex (pulse 1) and subcutaneous plate (pulse 2) achieved 60% effectiveness at 400 V (approximately 4 joules). Thus this study provides additional evidence favoring feasibility of low-energy transvenous atrial cardioversion defibrillation. However, further refinement of energy delivery is essential for the implantable automatic atrial cardioverter defibrillator concept to become clinically accepted.