What is atrioventricular (AV) dissociation?

Updated: Jul 05, 2018
  • Author: Akanksha Agrawal, MBBS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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AV dissociation is present when atrial and ventricular activation are independent of each other. It can result from complete heart block or from physiologic refractoriness of conduction tissue. AV dissociation can also occur in a situation when the atrial/sinus rate is slower than the ventricular rate (eg, with accelerated junctional tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia).

Occasionally, the atrial and ventricular rates are so close that the tracing would suggest normal AV conduction; only careful examination of the long rhythm strip may reveal a variation in the PR interval. This form of AV dissociation is called isorhythmic AV dissociation. Maneuvers or medications resulting in acceleration of the atrial/sinus rate will result in restoration of normal conduction.

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