Henry M. Spotnitz, MD
In my nearly four-decade career as a pacemaker-defibrillator surgeon at CUMC, I have had the privilege of caring for thousands of individuals with a need for arrhythmia control implants.
I divide my time between caring for these patients and preparing the next generation of medical professionals to handle these issues with compassion and expertise — both in the clinic and in the operating room. I also hold an appointment at P&S as Professor of Thoracic Surgery. I have been fortunate to participate in innovative studies of pacemakers, defibrillators, coronary sinus lead insertions, and device implants in infants and children.</p>
Clinically, I am known for arrhythmia surgery. I participated in clinical trials of defibrillators and pacemaker leads, including the CABG Patch Trial, the MUST trial, the AVID trial, CPI sponsored trials of the VentakP and P2 defibrillators, and Medtronic steroid eluting lead and biventricular pacing (MIRACLE) trials. I studied effects of ICD leads on ventricular compliance. I contributed books, instructional videos, and book chapters on ICD and pacemaker insertion and lectured in cardiac surgery courses of the American College of Surgeons and the New York Society for Thoracic Surgery. I developed unique clinical methods for insertion of transvenous pacemakers and defibrillators in infants and children.
I am the first George H. Humphreys, II, Professor of Surgery at Columbia, in recognition of translational research that applied two-dimensional echocardiography, high fidelity pressure recordings, ultrasonic flow probes, and conductance ventriculography to defining effects of surgery on cardiac function in animals and patients. I developed computerized analyses of hemodynamic data and computer-based clinical data management systems. I was supported by NIH and American Heart Association grants beginning in 1977. I am a former member of the Surgery and Bioengineering Study Section of NHLBI/NIH. My research included effects of surgery for congenital heart disease on ventricular geometry and function. My laboratory recently focused on temporary biventricular pacing for acute heart failure in humans during and after cardiac surgery. We demonstrated load dependence of biventricular pacing in animal models of acute heart failure and confirmed value of optimization of temporary biventricular pacing in selected patients after cardiac surgery in the BIPACS Trial. We explored the extension of our established protocols for intraoperative biventricular pacing to the study of acute intraoperative right ventricular dysfunction and single ventricle.