Triboelectricity (static or friction-related) electricity can induce a puzzling change in heart rhythm in a patient with a pacemaker, including tachycardia.


Clinical features:

(1) presence of a unipolar pacemaker

(2) delivery of a small static electricity discharge to the skin overlying the pacemaker

(3) detection of the discharge by the atrial channel, triggering a ventricular stimulus resulting in an endless loop tachycardia

(4) exclusion of pacemaker malfunction or other explanations


A larger electrical discharge can result in pacemaker inhibition.


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