Pacemaker Rhythms

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ECGs Made Easy Third Edition CHAPTER 8


electrical stimulus delivered by a pacemaker's pulse generator


the minimum amount of voltage (mA) needed to obtain consistent capture

rate modulation

ability of a pacemaker to increase the pacing rate in response to physical activity or metabolic demand

fusion beat

ECG waveform that results when an intrinsic depolarization and a pacing stimulus occur simultaneously and both contribute to depolarization of that cardiac chamber

pulse generator

power source that houses the battery and controls for regulating a pacemaker

demand pacemaker

discharges only when the patient's heart rate drops below the pacemaker's preset rate

V-A interval

in dual-chamber pacing, the interval between a sensed or ventricular-paced event and the next atrial-paced event


successful depolarization of the atria and/or ventricles by an artificial pacemaker

pacemaker spike

a vertical line on the ECG that indicates the pacemaker has discharged

base rate

rate at which the pulse generator of a pacemaker paces when no intrinsic activity is detected; expressed in pulses per minute

A-V interval

in dual-chamber pacing, the length of time between an atrial sensed or atrial paced event and the delivery of a ventricular pacing stimulus; analogous to the P-R interval of intrinsic waveforms

escape interval

time measured between a sensed cardiac event and the next pacemaker output

atrial pacemaker

a pacing system with a lead attached to the right atrium designed to correct abnormalities in the SA node

dual-chamber pacemaker

pacemaker that stimulates the atrium and ventricle


pacemaker response in which the output pulse is suppressed when an intrinsic event is sensed

AV sequential

pacemaker that stimulates firse the atrium, then the ventricle

fusion beat

in pacing, the ECG waveform that results when an intrinsic depolarization and a pacing stimulus occur simultaneously


ability of a pacing stimulus to successfully depolarize the cardiac chamber that is being paced

base rate

rate at which the pulse generator paces when no intrinsic activity is detected

atrial pacing

pacing system with a lead attached to the right atrium


artificial pulse generator that delivers an electrical current to the heart to stimulate depolarization

ventricular pacing

pacing system with a lead attached in the right ventricle

pacing system analyzer

external testing and measuring device capable of pacing the heart during pacemaker implantation


period, measured in milliseconds, between any two designated cardiac events


another name for a fixed-rate pacemaker


unit of measure of electrical current needed to elicit depolarization of the myocardium


interval between two ventricular-paced events


another name for demand pacemaker

bipolar lead

pacing lead with two electrical poles that are external from the pulse generator

pacing interval

period, expressed in milliseconds, between two consecutive paced events in the same cardiac chamber without an intervening sensed event

unipolar lead

pacing lead with a single electrical pole at the distal tip of the pacing lead (negative pole) through which the stimulating pulse is delivered


ability of a pacemaker to recognize and respond to intrinsic electrical activity; the pacemaker's response to sensed activity depends on its programmed mode and parameters

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