At the atrioventricular crossroads: Dual pathway electrophysiology in the atrioventricular node and its underlying heterogeneities

Sharon A. George, N. Rokhaya Faye, Alejandro Murillo-Berlioz, K. Benjamin Lee, Gregory D. Trachiotis, Igor R. Efimov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The atrioventricular node (AVN) is a complex structure that performs a variety of functions in the heart. The AVN is primarily an electrical gatekeeper between the atria and ventricles and introduces a delay between atrial and ventricular excitation, allowing for efficient ventricular filling. The AVN is composed of several compartments that safely transmit electrical excitation from the atria to the ventricles via the fast or slow pathways. There are many electrophysiological differences between these pathways, including conduction time and electrical refractoriness, that increase the predisposition of the atrioventricular junction to arrhythmias such as atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia. These varied electrophysiological characteristics of the fast and slow pathways stem from their unique structural and molecular composition (tissue and cellular geometry, ion channels and gap junctions). This review summarises the structural and molecular heterogeneities of the human AVN and how they result in electrophysiological variations and arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalArrhythmia and Electrophysiology Review
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Atrioventricular junction
  • Connexin
  • Dual-pathway electrophysiology
  • Ion channels
  • Optical mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'At the atrioventricular crossroads: Dual pathway electrophysiology in the atrioventricular node and its underlying heterogeneities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this