Two to three years of failure-free testing of a rechargeable pacemaker in experimental complete heart block.
Six hermetically sealed single cell rechargeable mercury-zinc pacemakers (B.T.) that will run continuously for over 4 years between rechargings have paced dogs with complete heart block for from 2 to 3 years. To maintain full cell capacity (over 1,000 mA hours) requires recharging for from 2-3 min/day to 60 to 80 hr once every 4 years, with any variation between these extremes being acceptable. Six realtime bench tests continue after over 7 years and accelerated tests have simulated a minimum of 50 years continuous pacing. Battery voltage is assessed by direct telemetry, eliminating the risk of patient intrinsic rhythm-pacemaker competition which is present with all current indirect (stimulation rate change) battery assessment techniques. The B.T. is an excellent 4-5 year primary pacemaker, fully rechargeable after several 4 year periods of battery rundown. A clinical test series has been initiated.
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