A minute wire electrode has been developed which can be implanted in the heart wall at the time of cardiac surgery to detect arrhythmias and to prove therapeutic stimulation during the postoperative period.
The electrode, a Teflon-coated, stainless steel wire, only 007 inch in diameter, has been implanted without complication for periods up to two weeks in more than 20 patients at The Presbyterian Hospital, New York City.
The tiny monitoring device, which is now available commercially, can be removed through the chest wall by gentle traction without discomfort to the patient or alteration in his electrocardiogram.
In a report to the annual meeting in Houston of the American Physiological Society, Paul D. Harris, MD, the electrode's principal developer, said it has been used to diagnose atrial arrhythmias which were not apparent with the conventional ECG.
In one instance, a 12-year-old girl developed a tachycardia after undergoing correction of a right