Artificial pacemaker

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In medicine and cardiology, an artificial pacemaker is a "device designed to stimulate, by electric impulses, contraction of the heart muscles. It may be temporary (external) or permanent (internal or internal-external)."[1]


In the 1980s many implantations of pacemakers were unnecessary or need was not adequately documented.[2]

Current pacemakers are highly instrumented, and can be remotely monitored for basic functions, as well as reporting details and being reprogrammed from a local device. This provides much more information for judging efficacy.


The basic two types of pacemaker provide contractile pulses when the heart is beating too slowly (i.e., bradycardia pacemaker) or has an inefficient, overly fast rhythm that must be overcome (i.e., tachycardia pacemaker). Modern pacemakers have considerable computing power and physiological sensors, and can adjust the rate of pacing both for clinical optimization and extending battery life.

For patients at high risk for ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, an extension to tachycardia pacemaking is the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.


  1. Anonymous (2022), Artificial pacemaker (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Greenspan AM, Kay HR, Berger BC, Greenberg RM, Greenspon AJ, Gaughan MJ (January 1988). "Incidence of unwarranted implantation of permanent cardiac pacemakers in a large medical population". N. Engl. J. Med. 318 (3): 158–63. PMID 3336403. [e]