In normal atrial and ventricular myocytes, phase 4 is electrically stable, with the resting membrane potential held at approximately -90 mV and maintained by the outward potassium leak current and ion exchangers previously described. It is during phase 4 that the Na+ channels necessary for atrial and ventricular myocyte depolarization recover completely from inactivation. In myocytes capable of automaticity, the membrane potential slowly depolarizes during this period to initiate an action potential (discussed later).
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