The Structure and Function of the Helical Heart and Its Buttress Wrapping. III. The Electric Spiral of the Heart: The Hypothesis of the Anisotropic Conducting Matrix
The study of the dissemination of the electric impulse throughout the ventricular myocardium, which gave rise to the current theories, was performed without taking into consideration the complex architecture of the cardiac muscle elucidated by more recent researchers. We propose a novel hypothesis based on the special macroscopic structure of the heart, the anisotropic electric and mechanical behavior of the myocardium, the characteristics of the intercellular matrix and its very special collagen scaffolding, chemical composition, and biochemistry. The unique properties of the intercellular matrix would make it especially suited to function, in conjunction with the specialized conducting system (His-Purkinje system), as an efficient anisotropic conductor for the spread of electric activation in the heart, and to allow an optimal sequence of excitation-contraction coupling that results in the coordination of effective myocardial contraction in birds and mammals of the most varied known heart rates.
© 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.