Five instances of parasystolic rhythm are presented in which detailed analysis revealed some particular physiologic aspect pertinent to the understanding of this type of disturbance of rhythm. In four cases the ectopic parasystolic focus was localized in the ventricles and in one in or near to the A-V junction; in two of the former instances the site of the ectopic focus appeared to be the interventricular septum. The mechanism of protection of the parasystolic center, while not identical in every case, might be effected by an area of true block, as exemplified by one instance. Parasystole offers the rare opportunity to determine the refractory phase of the A-V junction or of the ventricular myocardium in the human heart. Occasionally parasystolic rhythm may appear in association with other types of manifest multiple cardiac pacemakers and produce very complex arrhythmias, which can be resolved by application of known physiologic principles.
- © 1953 American Heart Association, Inc.