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June 8, 1912


Author Affiliations

Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(23):1753-1755. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260060102008

PITTSBURGH  In any disorder of the heart, the chief diagnostic and prognostic considerations as well as the more important therapeutic indications are based on the state of the myocardium. In many instances, the recognition of the pathologic process present is difficult, if not impossible, and the observer must be content with a tentative diagnosis based on a classification which is itself unsatisfactory and indefinite. The recently acquired exact knowledge in regard to the condition known as fibrillation of the auricle stands, however, in bright relief against this background of obscurity, and the general recognition by the profession of this affection is greatly to be desired.In order that the nature of auricular fibrillation may be made clear, it may be well to give a brief summary of the facts generally accepted as to the mechanism of the normal heart-beat. This beat is believed to originate at a node near the