Discuss the four unique characteristics of the myocardial cells

Discuss the four unique characteristics of the myocardial cells and the conduction system: automaticity, rhythmicity, conductivity, and contractility.

Discuss the four unique characteristics of the myocardial cells

Characteristics of the myocardial cells
Discuss the four unique characteristics of the myocardial cells and the conduction system: automaticity, rhythmicity, conductivity, and contractility.

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Characteristics of Cardiac Muscle Cells

imageDescribes how membrane potentials are created across semipermeable membranes by transmembrane ion concentration differences.

image Defines equilibrium potential and knows its normal value for potassium and sodium ions.

image States how membrane potential reflects a membrane’s relative permeability to various ions.

image Defines resting potential and action potential.

image Describes the characteristics of “fast” and “slow” response action potentials.

image Identifies the refractory periods of the cardiac cell electrical cycle.

image Defines threshold potential and describes the interaction between ion channel conditions and membrane potential during the depolarization phase of the action potential.

image Defines pacemaker potential and describes the basis for rhythmic electrical activity of cardiac cells.

image Lists the phases of the cardiac cell electrical cycle and states the membrane’s permeability alterations responsible for each phase.

image Names the important ion channels involved in the permeability alterations during the various phases of the cardiac cycle.

The student knows the normal process of cardiac electrical excitation:

image Describes gap junctions and their role in cardiac excitation.

image Describes the normal pathway of action potential conduction through the heart.

image Indicates the timing at which various areas of the heart are electrically excited and identifies the characteristic action potential shapes and conduction velocities in each major part of the conduction system.

image States the relationship between electrical events of cardiac excitation and the P, QRS, and T waves, the PR and QT intervals, and the ST segment of the electrocardiogram.

The student understands the factors that control the heart rate and action potential conduction in the heart:

image States how diastolic potentials of pacemaker cells can be altered to produce changes in the heart rate.


image Describes how cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves alter the heart rate and conduction of cardiac action potentials.

image Defines the terms chronotropic and dromotropic.

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