Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > SA Node and AV Node
Electrical pulses in the heart are controlled by special groups of
cells called nodes. The SA (sinoatrial) node generates an electrical signal
that causes the upper heart chambers (atria) to contract. The signal then
passes through the AV (atrioventricular) node to the lower heart chambers
(ventricles), causing them to contract, or pump.
The SA node is considered the pacemaker of the heart. Its
electrical signals normally cause the atria to contract at a rate of 60 to 100
times a minute.
Disturbance anywhere along this electrical pathway can cause
irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia).
Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.