Development of the Cardiac Conduction System
The pacemaking and conduction system (PCS) is vital for generating and synchronizing the heart beat. Dysfunction of this system can be a direct cause of cardiac conduction disturbance, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. A wealth of information has been collected over many years on the unique histological, morphological and phenotypic characteristics of specialized cardiac tissues. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern development of the PCS are now starting to be understood. This book draws together contributions from an international and interdisciplinary group of experts working on both basic and clinical aspects of cardiac development. It features reviews of the structure and function of the developing PCS, discussion of the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating embryological development of this system and studies on the fundamental basis of PCS pathology. The book also considers how novel therapeutic interventions based on understanding of the developmental biology of cardiac pacemaking and conduction tissues might ultimately impact on clinical medicine.