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June 5, 1967

An Esophageal Electrode For Recording Arrhythmias

Author Affiliations

Staten Island, NY

JAMA. 1967;200(10):901. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120230153041

To the Editor:—  Identification of atrial activity is essential to the accurate electrocardiographic diagnosis of basic rhythm disturbances. When atrial activity is obscured by a rapid ventricular rate, right-sided precordial leads or esophageal leads should always be obtained.1 Often the latter method is the most rewarding because of the proximity of the esophagus to the left atrium.Simple esophageal recording electrodes have been modified to increase the definition of atrial activity. Innovations have included bipolar and tripolar electrodes with a salt bridge2 and the inclusion of many recording points along the electrode. These improved electrodes were made to individual specifications and not employed by the general medical community.Transvenous pacemakers have been utilized since 1959 for the management of Adams-Stokes attacks and heart-block. These pacemakers are manufactured in unipolar, bipolar, or tripolar models, any one of which can be employed as an esophageal electrode in the usual manner.