Atrial syncytium

Definition

noun

A network of cardiac muscle cells connected by gap junctions that allows coordinate contraction of the atria.


Supplement

There are two syncytia of the heart: the ventricular syncytium and the atrial syncytium separated by fibrous tissue.

The syncytia allows rapid propagation of action potentials throughout the network of interconnected fibers that when one muscle cell contracts they all eventually contract.


See also: ventricular syncytium


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