In the XVIII century the first structured experiments in the field of bioelectricity were performed, and the Italian scientist Luigi Galvani documented the muscular contraction of a frog undergoing an electric shock. In 1791 he showed that the electric stimulation of the heart of a frog determined the contraction of the heart itself. In the first thirty years of the XIX century galvanometers were developed, and in 1842-42 Carlo Matteucci documented that electric activity was present even in the cardiac muscle at rest. At the end of the XIX century Augustus Waller was among the first scientists to publish an electrocardiographic recording obtained from the human body surface; most of his contemporaneous, however, did not retain that electrocardiography might have been an effective clinical application.Willem Einthoven, instead, was convinced of the widespread feasibility of clinical electrocardiography, and promoted a number of improvements and refinements in electrocardiographic technique. The most important and diagnostic-technical development of electrocardiography occurred in the second half of the XX century, and still today, even if many different sophisticated instrumental examinations are available for cardiologic evaluation, electrocardiography represents an essential first-line diagnostic tool in clinical cardiology.
|Translated title of the contribution||The historical bases of a super-specialty: electrocardiography|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Medicina nei secoli|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
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