Cardiac pacemakers (also known as permanent pacemakers (PPM)) are composed of two main elements :
- a pulse generator
- lead wires with electrodes for contact with the endocardium or myocardium.
The pacemaker generator (battery pack and control unit) is most commonly placed in the infraclavicular area.
There a number of categories depending on the number electrodes and location of pacing.
- single chamber cardiac pacers : lead terminates in right ventricle.
- dual chamber cardiac pacers : leads terminate in right atrial appendage and right ventricular apex.
biventricular pacers :
- left ventricular epicardial leads are used.
- the leads go directly to the surface of the left ventricle, and they are usually associated with typical pacing electrodes in the right atrial appendage and right ventricular apex. In other cases, the left ventricular pacing electrodes are introduced through the coronary sinus and wedged into a left ventricular cardiac vein.
The automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD or ICD) is a common cardiac device designed for both patient monitoring and therapy in case of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.
AICDs consist of various combinations of sensing and shocking electrodes. They are frequently combined with a pacemaker as a bundled system for the patient, treating both the patient’s established arrhythmia and also acting as a fail-safe system should ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia occur.
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- 1. Hunter TB, Taljanovic MS, Tsau PH et-al. Medical devices of the chest. Radiographics. 24 (6): 1725-46. doi:10.1148/rg.246045031 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Steiner RM, Tegtmeyer CJ, Morse D et-al. The radiology of cardiac pacemakers. Radiographics. 1986;6 (3): 373-99. Radiographics (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Collins J, Stern EJ. Chest radiology, the essentials. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2007) ISBN:0781763142. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
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