Melvin M. Scheinman, MD, FHRS

First Catheter Ablation

Melvin M. Scheinman, MD, FHRS

Melvin M. Scheinman, MD, FHRS, is the first person to have performed catheter ablation in humans. In 1983, he used high-energy direct current shocks to ablate accessory pathways and used this technique to ablate the fast AV nodal pathway. With his colleagues, he was instrumental in the development of radiofrequency energy applications for an array of cardiac arrhythmias. He also developed techniques for modification of sinus node function in patients with inappropriate sinus tachycardia and for cure of patients with automatic junctional tachycardia.

Dr. Scheinman is well known for his work in defining the role of electrophysiologic studies in determining the need for pacemakers in patients with AV conduction disturbances. He was the first to initiate combined pacemaker and beta-blocker therapy for patients with the congenital long QT syndrome. He was also among the first to prove the efficacy of intravenous amiodarone therapy for patients with malignant ventricular tachycardia.

In a 2017 interview, Scheinman said, “The exciting part of contemporary cardiac electrophysiology is the ability to offer curative therapy, and it is still a matter of delight, mixed with amazement, that these techniques are being used successfully every day throughout the world. I feel indeed humbled to have taken the first step in this area.”

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