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Chapter: Medical Physiology: Cardiac Arrhythmias and Their Electrocardiographic Interpretation

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Cardiac Arrhythmias and Their Electrocardiographic Interpretation

Some of the most distressing types of heart malfunction occur not as a result of abnormal heart muscle but because of abnormal rhythm of the heart.

Cardiac Arrhythmias and Their Electrocardiographic Interpretation

Some of the most distressing types of heart malfunction occur not as a result of abnormal heart muscle but because of abnormal rhythm of the heart. For instance, sometimes the beat of the atria is not coordinated with the beat of the ventricles, so that the atria no longer function as primer pumps for the ventricles.


The causes of the cardiac arrhythmias are usually one or a com-bination of the following abnormalities in the rhythmicity-conduction system of the heart:

1.              Abnormal rhythmicity of the pacemaker

2.              Shift of the pacemaker from the sinus node to another place in the heart

3.              Blocks at different points in the spread of the impulse through the heart

4.              Abnormal pathways of impulse transmission through the heart

Spontaneous generation of spurious impulses in almost any part of the heart



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