Dear Charles, thank you for your question. I think you're referring to an automatic, implantable atrial defibrillator. For many years now, implantable defibrillators (ICDs) have been used to treat patients with refractory ventricular arrhythymias. ICDs significantly improve survival because they are designed to shock patients out of a fatal ventricular arrhythmia. The same technology has been applied to atrial fibrillation (AF) which is not a life-threatening disorder, but can be notoriously hard to treat. Rather than have patients undergo multiple transcutaneous electrical cardioversions, the atrial defibrillator is designed to internally shock the atria into normal sinus rhythm. So far, these devices are only experimental and are not yet approved for general use. As far as I know, the preliminary results have been mixed for these devices. Dr. Mina Chung of our Division of Electrophysiology is the cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic who has the most experience with these devices and her office phone number is 216-444-2290. For more information, Dr. Chung would be the best resource.
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