Electrical impulses of our heart

Electrical impulses of our heart

Heart activity starts and is controlled by spontaneous generation of electrical impulses.

The heart epitomizes an admirable pump that tirelessly pumps the blood into circulation via regular contractions. Each contraction of the heart is triggered by an electric impulse, which is normally generated spontaneously in a specialized cluster of cells of the heart (pacemaker). Electrical impulse passes through the cardiac muscle and advances via specialized routes to reach the papillary muscle. Electrical impulse initiates contraction in the cardiac muscle and subsequently in the papillary muscle. This highly synchronized activity ensures optimal pumping of the blood into circulation. Pacemaker determines the frequency and speed of heart contractions and adjusts them to actual needs.

Specialized electrically active cells occur very early during fetal development – embryonic heart begins to pulsate around 21 days after conception. If we take the average number of heart beats per minute (70), then it means approximately 3 billion electrical impulses are being created in our heart during 80 years of life. Recording of electrical activity of the heart is called electrocardiogram.

The study of this issue is possible in the following fields:

Medicine: physiology, pathophysiology, cardiology

Physics: biophysics

Technology: biosignal processing

Informatics: modeling, simulations


Author: MUDr. Ljuba Bachárová, DrSc, International Laser Center, Bratislava

Photo: http://fotky-foto.sk/

Published by: ZČ

Translated: Andrej Mišech

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