Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Heart: pacemaker

Contributor(s): Mark Oyama

Overview

  • Artifical pacing (AP) provides an artificial electrical stimulus that elicits cardiac contraction. AP is used to ensure adequate heart rate in animals with bradyarrhythmias.

Principles of AP

  • There are two main components of a pacemaker, the generator  Heart: pacemaker generator and the lead Heart: pacemaker leads .
  • The pacing generator contains a battery and sophicated circuitry that allows customized programing of the pacemaker's function.
  • The pacing lead, delivers the electrical stimulus from the generator to the myocardial tissue.
  • Pacemakers serve multiple functions. Not only do they deliver the electrical impulse (pace) but they also detect native cardiac depolarizations (sense). Based on the activity the pacemaker senses, various responses can be programmed.
    • For instance, the pacemaker listens to see if a spontaneous impulse is generated by the myocardium - if so, this is sensed by the pacemaker and the next pacemaker signal is delayed by an appropriate interval.
  • Pacemaker batteries have a lifespan of approximately 4-10 years.
    Reducing the number of pacemaker impulses generated increases the lifespan of the battery - although battery life is not normally an issue in animals.

Classification

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Indications

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Method of implantation

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Monitoring

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Complications associated with implantation

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Fingeroth J M (1994) Pacemaker therapy for bradycardias. Semin Vet Surg 9, 192-199.
  • Wilbanks R (1992) Using the abdominal approach for pacemaker implantation. Vet Med 87, 139.
  • Fox P R (1991) Techniques and complications of pacemaker implantation in four cats. JAVMA 199, 1742-1753.
  • Darke P G (1989) Transvenous cardiac pacing in 19 dogs and one cat. JSAP 30, 491.


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