Clinical experience with the automatic implantable defibrillator

M. Mirowski, P. R. Reid, M. M. Mower, L. Watkins, E. V. Platia, L. S. Griffith, E. P. Veltri, T. Guarnieri, J. M. Juanteguy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Since February 1980, worldwide, over 400 survivors of sudden arrhythmic death have been treated with the automatic implantable defibrillator. Recently, the device has been further improved; it is now a cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD), able to treat ventricular tachycardias as well as ventricular fibrillation. There are two difibrillating electrodes which are used also for waveform analysis; one is located in the superior vena cava, the other is placed over the cardia apex. A third bipolar right ventricular electrode serves for rate counting and R-wave synchronization. When ventricular fibrillation occurs, a 25-joule pulse is delivered; when ventricular tachycardia faster than a present rate is detected, the discharge is R-wave synchronized. Special batteries can deliver over 100 shocks or provide a three-year monitoring life. Implantation of the device can be achieved through a thoracotomy or by a subxiphoid or a subcostal approach. Thus far, the longest follow-up period has been 58 months. Actuarial analysis shows the one-year mortality attributed to arrhythmias reduced to less than 2%. Thus, the automatic cardioverter-defibrillator can reliably identify and correct potentially lethal ventricular tachyarrhythmias, leading to a substantial increase in survival in properly selected high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-42
Number of pages4
JournalArchives des Maladies du Coeur et des Vaisseaux
Issue numberSPEC. NO. OCT.
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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