Neural Pathology of the Heart in Sudden Death

  • Th. N. James
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 4)


When sudden death occurs unexpectedly and cannot be explained by usual findings or circumstances, most now believe that the terminal event was a lethal disturbance of the electrical activity of the heart. By contrast to occasionally fatal instability, there is normally a remarkable stability of cardiac rhythm and conduction which. is marvelously durable under a continuing barrage of changes in demand on the work of the heart. Many different factors contribute to this durable stability. Familiar ones include changes in the contractile property of myocardium and in the pattern of coronary flow. It is not generally appreciated how important autonomic neural control is to almost every facet of this stable performance, including not only cardiac contraction and coronary flow, but also every component of the heart’s electrophysiological function. Nerves influence the rate at which the heart beats, the nature of its rhythm, the speed and route by which it conducts its electrical impulse, and the process by which both the atrial and ventricular myocardium becomes repolarized.


Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Sinus Node Ventricular Myocardium Neural Control Ventricular Repolarization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers bv, The Hague 1980

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  • Th. N. James

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