Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 323, Issue 2, pp 173–181 | Cite as

The electrocardiogram (ECG) and impulse conducting system (ICS) of the Asian musk shrew,Suncus murinus

  • G. L. Dryden
  • R. Gossrau
  • H. E. Dale


The impulse conducting system (ICS) in the heart of the Asian musk shrew,Suncus murinus, was investigated by means of electrocardiography and light microscopy.

In contrast to recent results denying an ICS in this species there exists a physiologically and morphologically well defined conductile tissue not differing from that in other mammals. Recognizable and typical EGGs were obtained with a P wave, PQ interval, QRS complex, and T wave. In accordance with the electrocardiographical pattern, anatomical examination revealed an ICS consisting of a SA node, AV node, AV bundle and ventricular Purkinje system (limbs and terminal branches). Histologically the specific tissue differs from the working myocardium by having fewer myofibrils, mitochondria, and blood vessels. Moreover the AV system is partially surrounded by a connective tissue sheath.


Shrew Heart Electrocardiogram Impulse Conducting Tissue 


Spitzmaus Herz Elektrokardiogramm Reizleitungssystem 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. L. Dryden
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Gossrau
    • 3
  • H. E. Dale
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Slippery Rock State College
  2. 2.Caribbean Primate Research CenterSan Juan
  3. 3.Department of AnatomyUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  4. 4.Department of Veterinary Physiology and PharmacologyUniversity of MissouriColumbia

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