Albert Frank Stanley Kent

Albert Frank Stanley Kent (1863 – 1958) was an English physiologist eponymously associated with the bundle of Kent, an alternative conduction pathway between the atria and ventricles, first described in 1913.

Professor A. F. Stanley Kent, investigated the field of ‘industrial fatigue’ in munitions and other industrial workers, attributed to ‘muscular and mental fatigue, worry, bad atmosphere, ill health and starvation‘. Professor Kent also reported on the ‘Monday effect‘ that affects ‘men and women who misuse their leisure by excessive drinking or other dissipation’.

  • Born on March 26, 1863
  • 1886– MA Natural Science. Magdalen College School, Oxford.
  • 1887–1889 Demonstrator of Physiology Owen’s College and Victoria University, Manchester
  • 1889–1891 Demonstrator of Physiology University of Oxford
  • 1891–1895 Demonstrator of Physiology St. Thomas’ Hospital, London
  • 1895–1896 Contributed to the establishment of the X-ray department St. Thomas’ Hospital, London
  • 1899–1909 Professor of Physiology at University College, Bristol.
  • 1909–1918 Professor of Physiology at University of Bristol previously known as University College, Bristol.
  • 1918–1920 Director of Department of Industrial Administration at Manchester Municipal Technical College
  • 1920–1922 Editor in Great Britain of the Journal of Industrial Hygiene
  • 1939–1945 Quartermaster and musketry instructor to a local home guard unit during World War II
  • Died March 30, 1958

Medical Eponyms
Bundle of Kent (1893, 1913)

An accessory pathway consisting of conductive tissue that dissects the atrioventricular fibrous skeleton providing a direct connection between the atria and the ventricles bypassing the AV node.

In 1893, Kent demonstrated that in the newborn rat there are muscular connections between atria and ventricles, not only in the septum, but in the right and left lateral walls of the heart. In the young rabbit, such communications are found in the right lateral wall and the medial part of the left A-V ring, in addition to the septum. Similar connections are also found in the guinea pig and hedgehog. In the monkey, however, only here and there do muscular fibers pass from atria to ventricles.

At about the same time, Wilhelm His Jr. (1863–1934) described the atrioventricular bundle (bundle of His), and believed this to be the only communication between atria and ventricles.

In 1913, Kent described, in the human heart, a communication between the right atrium and ventricle, in the lateral aspect.

The muscular connection between auricle and ventricle in the heart of man is not single and confined to the A.V. bundle, but it is multiple. One point at which a muscular connection between auricle and ventricle exists is situated at the right margin of the heart. The coordinated action of the chambers of the heart is to some extent dependent upon the integrity of muscular connections other than that which exists in the A.V. bundle. It is proposed, for purposes of identification, to refer to the connection described as the “right lateral auriculo-ventricular” connection.

Kent AFS 1913

In 1914, in this region, he described a right lateral atrioventricular node of specialized tissue which communicated with both atrium and ventricle.

…the only tissue connecting the auricle to the ventricle is the strip at the right side of the heart, and the histological part of the inquiry has already shown that an anatomical connexion exists in this situation, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that in this right lateral auriculo-ventricular junction there exists a muscular path capable of transmitting impulses and of co-ordinating the action of the chambers of the heart.

AFS Kent, BMJ 1914

Although it is widely accepted that the atrioventricular bundle was discovered by Wilhelm His Jr. in 1893 (Bundle of His) some argue it was first described by Kent at a meeting in 1892.


New research on ‘industrial fatigue’; Nature and The Lancet report on research by Professor A. F. Stanley Kent, Chair of Physiology, into the new field of ‘industrial fatigue’ in munitions and other industrial workers, which is caused by ‘muscular and mental fatigue, worry, bad atmosphere, ill health and starvation’. Professor Kent also reports on the ‘Monday effect’ that affects ‘men and women who misuse their leisure by excessive drinking or other dissipation’.

We all know how greatly the mental condition affects digestion. Pain, and grief, and worry – more particularly worry – may lead to acute and lasting indigestion, with consequent fatigue and loss of vigour. Unfriendly supervisors have been quoted as a cause of serious loss of output. Dazzling lights, improperly arranged, by straining and irritating the workers’ eyes, may lead to a mental condition incompatible with good digestion

AFS Kent in ‘Industrial Fatigue’, 1919

Major Publications



Eponymous term

U.K trained doctor currently working in ED in Perth my interests include all things acute medicine.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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