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The Anatomy of the Conduction System: Implications for the Clinical Cardiologist

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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It is just over 100 years since details emerged of the anatomical arrangement of the histologically specialised cardiomyocytes responsible for initiation and propagation of the cardiac impulse. Shortly thereafter, histological criteria were established to permit their location in autopsied human hearts. These criteria retain their value, but can now be enhanced by molecular and immunohistochemical findings. The new techniques have advanced our knowledge of the location and detailed structure of the sinus and atrioventricular nodes, along with the atrioventricular conduction axis. They also reveal the presence of additional areas of specialised myocardium, such as the paranodal area of the terminal crest, and the atrioventricular ring tissues. In contrast, they offer no support for the notion that the pulmonary venous sleeves are histologically specialised, but do provide insights to the substrates for outflow tract tachycardias. This article is part of a JCTR special issue on Cardiac Anatomy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson RH, Boyett MR, Dobrzynski H, Moorman AFM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research

Year: 2013

Volume: 6

Issue: 2

Pages: 187-196

Print publication date: 01/04/2013

ISSN (print): 1937-5387

ISSN (electronic): 1937-5395

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s12265-012-9433-0


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Funder referenceFunder name
RG/11/18/29257British Heart Foundation