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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

The Anatomy, Development, and Evolution of the Atrioventricular Conduction Axis

Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP, UK
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Hyogo, Japan
Department of Pediatric Cardiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Extremadura, 06006 Badajoz, Spain
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, Department of Medical Biology, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences, Meibergdreef 15, 1105AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(3), 44;
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 19 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
It is now well over 100 years since Sunao Tawara clarified the location of the axis of the specialised myocardium responsible for producing coordinated ventricular activation. Prior to that stellar publication, controversies had raged as to how many bundles crossed the place of the atrioventricular insulation as found in mammalian hearts, as well as the very existence of the bundle initially described by Wilhelm His Junior. It is, perhaps surprising that controversies continue, despite the multiple investigations that have taken place since the publication of Tawara’s monograph. For example, we are still unsure as to the precise substrates for the so-called slow and fast pathways into the atrioventricular node. Much has been done, nonetheless, to characterise the molecular make-up of the specialised pathways, and to clarify their mechanisms of development. Of this work itself, a significant part has emanated from the laboratory coordinated for a quarter of a century by Antoon FM Moorman. In this review, which joins the others in recognising the value of his contributions and collaborations, we review our current understanding of the anatomy, development, and evolution of the atrioventricular conduction axis. View Full-Text
Keywords: atrioventricular node; bundle of His; ventricular bundle branches; retroaortic node; dead-end tract atrioventricular node; bundle of His; ventricular bundle branches; retroaortic node; dead-end tract
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Anderson, R.H.; Mori, S.; Spicer, D.E.; Sanchez-Quintana, D.; Jensen, B. The Anatomy, Development, and Evolution of the Atrioventricular Conduction Axis. J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5, 44.

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