Heart pacemaker, X-ray

Heart pacemaker, X-ray

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Credit: GUSTOIMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heart pacemaker. Coloured frontal X-ray of the chest of a male patient with a heart pacemaker (upper right). The heart is the red mass at centre right, in between the lungs (white). The pacemaker is a device that has leads (blue and red) to supply regular electrical impulses to the heart, so that it beats normally. Pacemakers are surgically fitted in patients with a malfunctioning sinoatrial node, the part of the heart that initiates the heartbeat, or in patients with a heart block, which impairs the nerve impulses generated by the node. Pacemakers can either provide a regular impulse or discharge only when a heartbeat is missed.

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