Normal Heartbeat


  • The conduction system of the heart consists of cardiac muscle cells and conducting fibers; it is a unique system responsible for our heartbeat.
  • The SA node is the heart’s natural pacemaker; it sends out a steady electrical impulse causing contraction of the atria, then ventricles, to move blood through the heart and out to the rest of the body.
  • In systole, the heart muscle contracts, forcing blood out of the chambers; in diastole, the heart muscle relaxes and the chambers fill with blood again.
  • While the SA node sends out electrical impulses at a specified and steady rate, heart rate is affected by a variety of other stimuli including physical demand, stress, and hormonal factors among other things.
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  • Heart muscle is supplied by the coronary arteries, not by the blood flowing through the heart.
  • The major coronary vessels are the right coronary artery (RCA) and left main coronary artery (LCA), both of which come directly off of the aorta via the coronary ostia.
  • The LCA divides into the left anterior descending artery(LAD) and circumflex artery.
  • The RCA has no major branches, and terminates as the posterior descending artery (PDA).
  • There are may be variations in the anatomy.


Additional information


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