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Atrioventricular Node: A small nodular mass of specialized muscle fibers located in the interatrial septum near the opening of the coronary sinus. It gives rise to the atrioventricular bundle of the conduction system of the heart.

The Cardiac Cycle

JoVE 10887

The heart beats rhythmically in a sequence called the cardiac cycle—a rapid coordination of contraction (systole) and relaxation (diastole).

Electrical signals—sent from the sinoatrial (SA) node in the right atrial wall to the atrioventricular (AV) node between the right atrium and right ventricle—cause both atria to simultaneously contract. When the signal reaches the AV node, it pauses for approximately a tenth of a second, allowing the atria to contract and empty blood into the ventricles before they contract. The electrical impulses are then conducted by the bundle of His and propagated to the left and right bundle branches. The signal is then conducted by Purkinje fibers in the ventricular walls, inducing ventricular contraction and pumping blood out of the heart. During diastole (relaxation), the heart fills with blood, and the cycle is repeated.

 Core: Circulatory and Pulmonary Systems

Optocardiography and Electrophysiology Studies of Ex Vivo Langendorff-perfused Hearts

1Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric and Surgical Innovation, Children's National Hospital, 2Children's National Heart Institute, Children's National Hospital, 3Center for Neuroscience Research, Children's National Hospital, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 5Department of Pediatrics, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University

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JoVE 60472

 JoVE In-Press
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