Jump to navigation Jump to search
no edit summary
[[Image:Rhythm_ventricular_premature.png|thumb|A [[Premature ventricular beats(PVB) / Venticular extrasystoles (VES)|ventricular extrasystole]] with a compensatory pause]]
[[Image:pacemaker_rates.png|thumb|Mycoardial cells with pacemaker activity]]
The pacemaker cells in the sinus node are not the only cells in the heart that can depolarize spontaneously. Actually all cardiomyoctyes have this capacity. The only reason why the sinus node 'rules' is that it is the fastest pacemaker of the heart. All healthy cardiomyocytes from the sinus node to the ventricles can function as ectopic pacemakers. Ectopic pacemaker activity can originate from the atria (60-80 bpm), AV-node (40-60 bpm) and the ventricles (20-40 bpm). So, as the sinus rate drops (e.g. during atrial infarction), other cells can take over. The configuration of ectopic
beats or extrasystoles, as seen on the ECG, reveals its origin, whether they are [[Atrial_Premature_Complexes|atrial]], nodal or [[ves|ventrical]].