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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cardiac muscle cells are branched. Branched muscles resemble the branches of a tree, each branch of which connects to other muscle cell fiber through what is called intercalcated disc, which is an undulating double membrane found in cardiac tissue the function of which is to separate adjacent cells. The intercalcated connection facilitates the forming of the appearance of syncytium with many cell nuclei gathered (syncytium is the multi-nuclei collection of cells,each with its own nuclei). Cardiac muscle that is branched thus differs from skeletal muscle in that skeletal muscle is linear and longitudinal, without branching that connects cells fibers to other cell fibers.