Response to Passage of Sinusoidal Current Through the Body
It is becoming increasingly popular to introduce current to human and animal subjects either to measure a physiological event or to stimulate (or inhibit) irritable tissue. The type and intensity of current and the location of the electrodes is dependent on the result desired. The published literature abounds with descriptions of the various techniques using intentionally injected electrical currents for the measurement of physiological events by impedance, stimulation of nerve and muscle, and the production of an anesthesia-like state. Although all of these techniques are in popular use, when injecting current into animals and man it is necessary to employ the safest possible procedure. Except in the emergency life-saving situation, for example when high current is employed in trans-chest ventricular defibrillation, it is highly desireable to avoid stimulation of cutaneous receptors under the electrodes and to exclude passage of current through the cardiac ventricles because of the high risk of producing ventricular fibrillation which if not arrested immediately results in irreversible damage to the central nervous system. This paper describes the response to passage of current through various parts of the body and, in particular, presents data on the threshold values for sensation and the total thoracic current for ventricular fibrillation. Leakage of low-intensity current from catheters in the ventricles can produce fibrillation; accordingly, the threshold current for ventricular fibrillation is presented for this current path.
KeywordsVentricular Fibrillation Body Response Electrode Location Threshold Current Density Cardiac Ventricle
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