ATRIOVENTRICULAR (AV) DISSOCIATION:
A condition in which the atria and the ventricles beat independently from one another, and there is no communication between them through the atrioventricular (AV) node.
Examples of AV Dissociation:
Complete Heart Block (Third Degree Heart Block):
-The AV node is not functioning which prevents the atrial beats to stimulate the ventricular beats through the AV node.
-Typically: Atrial rate > ventricular rate.
Activation of a latent or subsidiary (latent) cardiac pacemaker:
-AV Dissociation due to the beats originating below the AV node (e.g. low junction or ventricles) inhibiting the AV node. In this case, the AV node functions normally, but the impulses are blocked. Occasionally the presence of capture beats will help identify AV dissociation.
-Typically: Ventricular rate > atrial rate.