International Medical Journal, Vol. 20., Iss. 1, 2014, P. 30−34.
HISTORY AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHY: FROM SOURCES TO CONTEMPORANEITY
Kharkiv National Medical University
Historical stages of electrocardiography are described. In 1791 an Italian physician L.Galvani was the first to investigate electrical phenomena in muscular contraction, which gave rise to experimental physiology. In 1856 R.Kölliker and H. Müller determined the presence of weak current occurring at myocardium contractions. In 1887 an English physiologist A.Waller using capillary electrometer was the first to obtain a record of electrical activity in the human myocardium. In 1893 a Dutch physiologist W.Einthoven suggested the term electrocardiography for the new method. In 1903 the first electrocardiograph was made and in 1905 W. Einthoven carried out transmission of an electrocardiogram via telephone, which opened the way to ECG−telemetry. The system of electrocardiographic leads was elaborated during the period from 1913 to 1943. In 1947 N. Holter invented the first remote ECG monitor. Since 1961 Holter monitoring (HM) has been widely used in clinical practice. The American Association of Cardiology distinguishes three classes of clinical indications for Holter monitoring. In Ukraine physicians usually use B. Laun and M. Wolf classification when interpreting ECG in patients with ventricular arrhythmias. Diagnostic capabilities of Holter monitoring can be expanded by telemetry which has been used in Ukraine since 1935. Transesophageal electrocardiography and transesophageal electrocardiostimulation have been used in clinical practice since the 1980th. These methods help to diagnose abnormal changes in the myocardium which are difficult to assess on a plain ECG or which are not detected by Holter monitoring.
Key words: history of electrocardiography development, Holter monitoring, ECG−telemetry, transesophageal electrocardiography.