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      The Unbalanced Heart

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          Abstract

          The heart often appears to function independently because it can maintain regular activity even when isolated from the rest of the body. Likewise, it maintains its regularity in the midst of powerful but balanced neural and pressure influences. Experimental situations designed to unbalance these forces produce rhythm disturbances resembling those encountered clinically. Unbalancing of the sympathetic supply with the parasympathetic supply totally obliterated, leads to tachycardias of various origin which are eliminated by adrenergic blockade. Removing the sinoatrial node results in atrial brady-tachyarrhythmia, eliminated by cholinergic blockade. Unbalancing the pressure load results in premature ventricular contractions that are clearly not mediated by external neural controls. Cardiac rhythm disturbances thus result from a variety of forces that may be readily tolerated when balanced by opposing forces but cannot be controlled without that buffer.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          CRD
          Cardiology
          10.1159/issn.0008-6312
          Cardiology
          S. Karger AG
          0008-6312
          1421-9751
          1979
          1979
          31 October 2008
          : 64
          : 2
          : 65-74
          Affiliations
          Department of Physiology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University of Chicago, Maywood, III.
          Article
          170580 Cardiology 1979;64:65–74
          10.1159/000170580
          436126
          © 1979 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 10
          Categories
          Original Paper

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