The atrioventricular node (abbreviated AV node) is the tissue between the atria and the ventricles of the heart, which conducts the normal electrical impulse from the atria to the ventricles.
The AV node receives two inputs from the atria: posteriorly via the crista terminalis, and anteriorly via the interatrial septum.1
An important property that is unique to the AV node is decremental conduction. This is the property of the AV node that prevents rapid conduction to the ventricle in cases of rapid atrial rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.
The blood supply of the AV node is from a branch of the right coronary artery in 85 to 90 percent of individuals, and from a branch of the left circumflex artery in 10 to 15 percent of individuals.
1. ACC/AHA/ESC Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Atrial Fibrillation - Executive Summary (Full text http://www.acc.org/clinical/guidelines/atrial_fib/exec_summ/exec_afindex.htm )
Last updated: 02-09-2005 08:47:25
Last updated: 05-03-2005 02:30:17