, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 133–146

Cardiac cellular electrophysiology: past and present

  • S. Weidmann

DOI: 10.1007/BF01942831

Cite this article as:
Weidmann, S. Experientia (1987) 43: 133. doi:10.1007/BF01942831


The time-course of the cardiac action potential can be accounted for in terms of ionic currents crossing the cell membranes. Depolarizing current is carried by Na+ or Ca2+ entering the cells, repolarizing current by K+ leaving the cells. Membrane permeability for the passive movement of these ions is thought to be voltage-dependent as well as time-dependent. Net transfer of charge may also result from active transport, 2 Na+ out against 1 K+ in; or coupled exchange, 3 or 4 Na+ in against 1 Ca2+ out. This review follows the path by which present-day knowledge has been reached. It also gives a few examples to illustrate that electrophysiology has provided concepts useful to clinical cardiology.

Key words

Cardiac potentialsmembrane currentsheartcell couplingheartelectrophysiologyheartion fluxheartactive transportpacemaker

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Weidmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland