How to differentiate heart blocks

Electricity in the heart runs through a very predictable pattern


Learning about the different heart blocks is always a challenge for beginning students in cardiac electrophysiology.

  • How do they happen?
  • How can you tell them apart?
  • How do they affect the patient?

These are but a few of the questions surrounding this particular class of ECG rhythm abnormalities.

Basic principles

Electricity in the heart runs through a very predictable pattern. Originating in the right atrium, the electrical impulse follows specialized electrical pathways in order to ensure that the heart's chambers contract in a very organized manner.

Occasionally the signal gets interrupted somewhere along the way.

One type of interruption is at the atrioventricular junction, of AV junction. This area of the heart normally acts as a gatekeeper to the flow of electricity from the upper atria to the lower ventricles.

If this part of the conduction tissue is injured, the rate of electrical flow can slow or stop altogether. In other words, the signal gets blocked — hence the name, heart blocks.

Start of Brightcove Player By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. End of Brightcove Player

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2020 ems1.com. All rights reserved.