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Historical highlights in cardiac pacing

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1 Author(s)
Geddes, L.A. ; Hillenbrand Biomed. Eng. Center, Purdue Univ., Lafayette, IN, USA

The benchmarks in cardiac pacing are identified, beginning with F. Steiner (1871), who rhythmically stimulated the chloroform-arrested hearts of 3 horses, 1 donkey, 10 dogs, 14 cats, and 8 rabbits. The chloroform-arrested heart in human subjects was paced by T. Greene in the following year (1872) in the UK. In 1882, H. Ziemssen in Germany applied cardiac pacing to a 42-year old woman who had a large defect in the anterior left chest wall subsequent to resection of an enchondroma. Intentional cardiac pacing did not occur until 1932, when A.A. Hyman in the US demonstrated that cardiac pacing could be clinically practical. Hyman made a batteryless pacemaker for delivery in induction shock stimuli (60-120/min) to the atria. His pacemaker was powered by a hand-wound, spring-driven generator which provided 6 min of pacemaking without rewinding. Closed-chest ventricular pacing was introduced in the US in 1952 by P.M. Zoll et al. Zoll (1956) also introduced closed-chest ventricular defibrillation. W.L. Weirich et al. (1958) demonstrated that direct-heart stimulation in closed-chest patients could be achieved with slender wire electrodes. S. Furman and J.B. Schwedel (1959) developed a monopolar catheter electrode for ventricular pacing in man. In the same year, W. Greatbatch and W.M. Chardack developed the implantable pacemaker.<>

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 2 )