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Abstracts |

The Termination of Cardiac Arrhythmias with Electrical Discharge.

B. Lown, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1963;58(4):713. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-58-4-713_2
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Since the introduction of quinidine by Frey, 45 years ago, drugs have been the mainstay in the treatment of ectopic arrhythmias. A new method of treatment has now been introduced which no longer depends on drugs. This method, cardioversion, is based on 2 key principles.

1. The heart can be depolarized across the intact chest by a brief direct-current (d-c) electrical discharge and thereby result in abolition of an ectopic arrhythmia.

2. When the d-c discharge is synchronized to fall outside the vulnerable period of the cardiac cycle, the discharge is entirely without hazard to the patient.

Cardioversion has now


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