heart block

noun Pathology.
a defect in the electrical impulses of the heart resulting in any of various arrhythmias or irregularities in the heartbeat.

Origin:
1900–05

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
heart block
 
n
Adams-Stokes syndrome, Also called: atrioventricular block impaired conduction or blocking of the impulse that regulates the heartbeat, resulting in a lack of coordination between the beating of the atria and the ventricles

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

heart block n.
A condition in which faulty transmission of the impulses that control the heartbeat results in a lack of coordination in the contraction of the atria and ventricles of the heart.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

heart block

lack of synchronization in the contractions of the upper and the lower chambers of the heart-the atria and the ventricles. The lack of synchronization may range from a slight delay in the ventricular contractions to total heart block, a complete lack of synchronization between the atria and the ventricles. A characteristic of heart block is that the ventricles contract more slowly than the atria. Heart block is caused by disease of some portion of the pathway over which the contractive impulse travels through the heart. The condition is treated by increasing the rate of impulses that regulate ventricular contractions; this can be done by administering drugs or by implanting an artificial pacemaker, a device that regulates heart action by means of minute electric shocks.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Some patients suffer nerve damage, others heart block or swollen joints.
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