The History of Cardiac Pacemakers and Defibrillators

  • Serge Boveda
  • Stéphane Garrigue
  • Philippe Ritter


Cardiac pacing has hugely and rapidly improved in just over 50 years, thanks to advances in electronics, computing, nanotechnology, and medicine. Engineers and physicians are committed to reproducing, as closely as possible, the physiological cardiac cycle and the mechanical activity of the right and left ventricles. The history of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is unique because it relies on the bold project of one man, Mirowski. In 1985, the first implantable cardioverter defibrillator was marketed. This system allowed the ventricle to be paced and provided better detection, which improved the percentage of appropriate shocks. We can imagine that, in the future, progress will continue toward further miniaturization and longevity, but also perhaps the research of new and more compatible biological materials. Research into cardiac pacing and ICDs has been motivated by huge medical and economic issues, and will continue, although we are still amazed by these small but fascinating metal boxes!


Right Ventricle Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Biventricular Pace Johns Hopkins Hospital 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serge Boveda
    • 1
  • Stéphane Garrigue
    • 2
  • Philippe Ritter
    • 3
  1. 1.Arrhythmia DepartmentClinique PasteurToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Cardiology DepartmentClinique St. AgustinBordeauxFrance
  3. 3.Cardiology DepartmentCHU de Haut-LévêquePessacFrance

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