Failure of demand pacing with small surface area electrodes.
As pacemaker electrode myocardial contact area is reduced, the energy required to stimulate the heart decreases; but the effect of surface area on an electrode's ability to transmit R-wave potentials has not been well documented. Endocardial and intramyocardial R-wave potentials were measured in ten dogs with seven commercially available pacemaker electrodes of different surface area. With a load impedance of 1000 ohms, there was a direct correlation between surface area and the R-wave potentials measured. The amplitude of the R-wave that resulted from conduction from the heart to the sensor via the electrode system decreased with decreasing surface area. A similar direct correlation was seen between the R-wave potentials measured and the threshold current and energy requirements. With the present trend toward utilization of small surface area electrodes to reduce pacemaker cell drain, care must be taken to optimize pacemaker circuit impedance if sensing problems are to be avoided.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association