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Abstracts |

"Cardioversion" of Arrhythmias of the Heart.

Bernard Lown, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1964;60(2_Part_1):322. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-60-2-322_2
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Treatment of ectopic arrhythmias has hitherto been based on the use of such drugs as quinidine, procaine amide, and the cardiac glycosides. A new electronic method has recently been introduced that instantly restores a normal cardiac mechanism. This method designated as cardioversion is based on two key principles: (1) The heart can be depolarized across the intact chest by a brief direct current (DC) electrical discharge and thereby results in abolition of an ectopic arrhythmia, and (2) when the DC discharge is synchronized to fall outside the vulnerable period of the cardiac cycle, the discharge is entirely without hazard to


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