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Definition of Atrioventricular (AV)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Atrioventricular (AV): Pertaining to the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) and the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart).

The AV node is an electrical relay station between the atria and the ventricles. Electrical signals from the atria must pass through the AV node to reach the ventricles. The AV node is a major element in the cardiac conduction system that generates electrical impulses within the heart, conducts them throughout the muscle of the heart, stimulates the heart to contract and pump blood, and so controls the heart rate.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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