Document Detail

From delirium cordis to atrial fibrillation: historical development of a disease concept.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7741373     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In 1874, the electrical stimulation of animal hearts made known the existence of atrial fibrillation, but atrial fibrillation was not associated with its clinical counterpart, arrhythmia perpetua, until 1909, by which time simultaneous recordings of the human heartbeat, the venous and arterial pulses, and electrocardiographic activity had revealed the common origin of these events. After the electrical basis of atrial fibrillation was found and after atrial fibrillation was clearly distinguished from ventricular fibrillation, investigation into its mechanism ensued. Two contrasting theories, that of circus movement and that of tachysystole from a single focus, led to 30 years of research and debate. Pivotal to the argument was the notion of blocked conduction. Although the theory of circus movement prevailed for a long time, it appeared to be demolished by electrophysiologic experiments done between 1948 and 1950. The realization that blocked conduction could later reenter led to more recent research in animals and humans that revived the notion of circular conduction, although in a much more sophisticated form.
K M Flegel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of internal medicine     Volume:  122     ISSN:  0003-4819     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. Intern. Med.     Publication Date:  1995 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-06-06     Completed Date:  1995-06-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372351     Medline TA:  Ann Intern Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  867-73     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM; Q    
Division of General Internal Medicine, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Atrial Fibrillation / etiology,  history*
History, 17th Century
History, 18th Century
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century

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