Chapter

Cardiac Defibrillation

Jaakko Malmivuo

in Bioelectromagnetism

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780195058239
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847839 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195058239.003.0024
Cardiac Defibrillation

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This chapter explores the use of cardiac stimulation to terminate arrhythmias. Its focus is mainly on defibrillation, in which very high energy shocks are applied for the purpose of ending the fibrillation (which is otherwise lethal). The subject of ventricular fibrillation is the center of much attention from clinical and basic scientists since it is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world. It has been established that the underlying cause is atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, which results in occlusion of coronary perfusion. In many cases the more recent technique of the implantable defibrillator offers a more successful approach to the control of life-threatening arrhythmia than antiarrhythmic drugs. The subject is therefore of great importance and represents a potential area for application of the electrophysiological principles.

Keywords: cardiac defibrillation; cardiac stimulation; arrhythmias; ventricular fibrillation; coronary artery disease; antiarrhythmic drugs

Chapter.  4469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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