Cardiac Muscle Action Potential

Process of Cardiac Action Potential

The process of cardiac action potential is quite complex as it is primarily based on the electrical conduction system. Also, if there is any heart disease then too, the result will not be aptly clear. The cardiac muscle action potential is of two types- Non Pacemaker Action Potentials and the slow response action potentials

The cardiac action potential is an important and a specialised potential which takes place in the heart of the human beings. This is considered to be essential for the effective electrical conduction system of the heart. This potential is said to vary in different parts of the heart and this enables in knowing the electrical characteristics in different parts of the heart as to how much different they are from each other.

There are various specialised conduction tissues which are present in the heart but which are not candidly revealed during the ECG so the cardiac muscle action potential helps in analysing this in a better way.

Process of Cardiac Action Potential

It needs to be noted that when the action potential begins in one of the myocyte, this will enable the electrical current to pass through the gap junctions and finally it will reach the intercalated disc in the neighbours. This current will begin an action potential once it reaches the neighbours. This whole process will lead to the activation process in the heart and thereby contraction takes place inside the heart.

This entire process makes the contraction process effective which in fact is needed keeping in view the fact that it is very much essential for the proper functioning of the heart. However, this process sometimes gets disrupted, this happens when the human body may be suffering from any of the heart diseases. Then in such a scenario, the myocytes will get disrupted from proper synchronization.

Types of Cardiac Action Potential

Basically the cardiac action potential is of two types- Non Pacemaker Action Potentials- these are said to be the fast response action potentials. This is because they depolarise quickly and they are said to be found throughout the heart but they are found to be lacking in the pacemaker cells.

The other is the slow response action potentials- these are spontaneously generated by the pacemaker cells. They have a very slow rate of depolarisation. But it needs to be mentioned that both these potentials are in fact quite different from the action potentials which are said to take place in the skeletal and the neural muscles.

While in the nerves the duration of the action potential is around 1ms, in the skeletal muscles it is around 2-5ms. On the other hand the duration of cardiac action potential is around 200-400 ms. While in the nerve and skeletal muscles action potential there is a role played by carbon ions but in cardiac action potentials, the carbon ions are known to be involved in the initial phase of depolarisation.

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