The ends of the sinus nodal fibers connect directly with surrounding atrial muscle fibers. Therefore, action potentials originating in the sinus node travel outward into these atrial muscle fibers. In this way, the action potential spreads through the entire atrial muscle mass and, eventually, to the A-V node. The velocity of conduction in most atrial muscle is about 0.3 m/sec, but conduction is more rapid, about 1 m/sec, in several small bands of atrial fibers. One of these, called the anterior interatrial band, passes through the anterior walls of the atria to the left atrium. In addition, three
other small bands curve through the anterior, lateral, and posterior atrial walls and terminate in the A-V node; shown in Figures 10-1 and 10-3, these are called, respectively, the anterior, middle, and posterior internodal pathways. The cause of more rapid velocity of conduction in these bands is the presence of specialized conduction fibers. These fibers are similar to even more rapidly conducting "Purkinje fibers" of the ventricles, which will be discussed.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.