Letter | Published:

Transmembrane Potentials of Single Fibres of the Atrio-ventricular Node


RECORDS of the electrical activity of the atrio-ventricular node obtained with extracellular electrodes1,2 have not provided a clear picture of the mechanism of normal atrio-ventricular delay or the changes responsible for partial and complete atrio-ventricular dissociation. In the experiments to be described the trans-membrane potentials of single fibres of the atrio-ventricular node and bundle of His have been recorded by means of intracellular micro-electrodes in order to obtain an answer to these questions. The atrio-ventricular node and His bundle have been studied either in the intact perfused rabbit heart or in isolated preparations of the right atrium and interatrial septum of the same heart. A modified Tyrode solution maintained at 33° C. was employed in both types of experiments. In most instances two intracellular micro-electrodes were employed simultaneously to demonstrate conduction delay and site of origin of activity. Similar results were obtained from both intact and isolated preparations.

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  1. 1

    Scher, A. M., Science, 121, 398 (1955).

  2. 2

    van der Kooi, M. W., Durrer, D., van Dam, R. th., and van der Tweel, L. H., Amer. Heart J., 51, 684 (1956).

  3. 3

    Hoffman, B. F., and Suckling, E. E., Amer. J. Physiol., 173, 212 (1953).

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    West, T. C., J. Pharm. Exp. Therap., 115, 283 (1955).

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    Draper, M. W., and Weidmann, S., J. Physiol., 115, 74 (1951).

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    Katz, L. N., “Clinical Electrocardiography” (1956).

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