The ECG pp 505-523 | Cite as

Pacemaker ECG

  • Marc Gertsch


The first implantable cardiac stimulator device was used in humans in 1958. Since its introduction, this ingenious method for treating bradycardic arrhythmias has spread throughout the world; in 1998,601 000 new pacemakers were implanted worldwide. The total number of people fitted with pacemakers is estimated at more than 4 million — and with a global population of some 8 billion this means approximately one person in every 2 million has a pacemaker. In some countries the ratio is about 1:600.

The first pacemaker (implanted by Senning in 1958) was a simple ventricular PM and had a fixed rate, with no sensing of spontaneous heart beats. The next stages in pacemaker evolution brought the ‘on-demand’ device that was able to sense spontaneous rhythm, the dual-chamber pacemaker that allowed atrioventricular sequential pacing, and the rate-responsive device that accelerated the pacing rate by analyzing body movement, respiration rate, and other parameters. In more recent years additional sophisticated functions have been integrated.These include mode switch (automatic change from two-chamber pacing to ventricular pacing after the onset of atrial fibrillation), sleep function, telemetry (including memory properties for counts of spontaneous and paced beats in detail), and programmed rapid atrial stimulation.


Ventricular Pace Atrial Pace Sick Sinus Syndrome Sinus Node Dysfunction Battery Depletion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Gertsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, Swiss Cardiovascular Center BernUniversity Clinic InselspitalBernSwitzerland

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