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the cycle of contraction of the heart muscle; it begins with an electrical impulse in the sinoatrial node, which serves as the normal pacemaker for the heart.
Heartbeat: The conduction system of the heart that is involved in the cycle of contraction. From Frazier et al., 2000.


A single complete cycle of contraction and dilation of heart muscle.


/heart·beat/ (hahrt´bēt) a complete cardiac cycle, during which the electrical impulse is conducted and mechanical contraction occurs.


1. A single complete pulsation of the heart.
2. A vital force or driving impulse: Broadway is the heartbeat of the New York City theater world.
3. An instant: I'll be there in a heartbeat.


a complete cycle of cardiac muscle contraction and relaxation.


the cycle of contraction of the heart muscle, during which the chambers of the heart contract. The beat begins with a rhythmic impulse in the sinoatrial node, which serves as a pacemaker for the heart. See also heart.

Patient discussion about heartbeat

Q. What is considered a slow heartbeat? I am a 30 year old woman and I went for a routine checkup at my Doctor's. He checked my pulse and it was 52 beats per minute. Is this considered slow? All my family members have a faster beat of 65- 90 beats per minute. If it is slow, is it bad?

A. If the heartbeat is too slow, usually considered a rate below 60 beats a minute, not enough oxygen-rich blood flows through the body. The symptoms of a slow heartbeat are:

Fainting or near fainting

However, some people with slow heartbeat don't have any symptoms at all. Regular exercise can also result in a slow heartbeat. This happens because the exercise has actually strengthened the heart to the point where it can beat less often and still perform its job effectively. I am not a doctor, but it seems to me that in this case the slow heartbeat is not a cause for concern. If it troubles you, consult your doctor and see what he/she thinks about it.

Q. SVT and AF, Hearts that go fast to slow or any others probs with the beats of any kind and Ablation of hearts I have had Ablation done once and I am still having passing out spells and still on 50mg toprol 2 times a day till two days ago, now I am on 150 to 200 aday again. Its not the first time I have had to up meds. I had ablation down 4/22/05. I can breath better now but but it didnt take it away as you can tell. Now Dr Leonardie would like to do it again . This is the big ????! Will it or can it work 100% this time, or will it hit and miss some again???? MTT

A. Well I can understand the frustration of having to go through this procedure yet another time. There are no guarantees in medicine. You should follow your doctor's advice, as another proceudre might be more helpful than the last one. However you should keep in mind that nothing is for sure.

Q. my ears do not hear well especially when it's cold. i hear my breath and heart beat. what's my prolem? Denis when i breathe it feels like the breath goes through the ear when the weather is cold or when i do some excercise like jogging

A. for ear infections or blocked ear tube - try out the eardoc www.eardoc.info

More discussions about heartbeat
References in periodicals archive ?
In Schreck's music therapy sessions, he records patients' and their family's heartbeats and incorporates them into songs with instrumental and/or vocal tracks.
Whether you are a father, mother or even a relative, you can get the My baby heartbeat app and enjoy the awesome experience all the same.
But the writing and over-acting of Heartbeat as a whole - and a really bad attempt at an Irish accent, which is over the place - for me just didn't cut it.
Even though the new location was, to borrow a word, "unplanned" in the minds of Heartbeat, they are welcoming the opportunity to serve women in the same building where so many lives have been lost over the past 20-plus years.
Chaya's documentary about his boat trip across the Indian Ocean premiered last week at the ABC malls in Dbayeh and Ashrafieh as part of the Heartbeat box campaign.
Washington, August 16 ( ANI ): A new research has said that a visual projection of human heartbeats can be used to generate an 'out-of-body experience.
Heartbeat was founded in 2007 under a grant from Fulbright and MTVu to offer programs for Jewish and Arab youth to use the power of music to build trust.
The Heartbeat gala dinner attracted around 600 high profile guests, among which were: Lebanon's first lady, Mrs.
A pacemaker may be implanted temporarily after a heart attack or heart surgery to speed up the heartbeat.
Irish Heartbeat - a best-priced 11-1 with William Hill, totesport and Stan James - landed the consolation race for the Lincoln, the Spring Mile, 12 months ago.
Signal A team of experts at Aberdeen University, working with colleagues in Germany, discovered that the heartbeats of mothers and their unborn children synchronise when the mum breaths rhythmically.
The PBS network will show Highland Heartbeat on their 354 channels across the US.