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Glossary of Terms

AV Node Ablation

Used to treat rapid irregular heart beats, AV Node Ablation is a procedure by which the heart's AV node (Atrioventricular node, the electrical pathway that connects the top chambers to the bottom chambers of the heart) is modified to restore normal heart rhythms. The procedure involves cauterizing or freezing the AV node to block or alter electrical conduction through this region of the heart. During a typical AV node ablation, a permanent pacemaker is implanted in the chest to mechanically regulate the pulse rate in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) to match the natural pulse rate in the upper chambers of the heart (atria).

A normal heartbeat is triggered by an electrical impulse which starts in the Sinoatrial (SA) Node. The impulse then travels across the Atrioventricular (AV) Node and triggers the ventricles to contract.

Related terms: SA Node, AV Node, Natural Pacemaker, Pulmonary Vein Ablation / Pulmonary Vein Antrum Isolation (PVAI)

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