9. Optical Mapping of the Sinoatrial Node and Atrioventricular Node

  1. Mohammad Shenasa MD3,
  2. Gerhard Hindricks MD4,
  3. Martin Borggrefe MD5,
  4. Günter Breithardt MD6 and
  5. Mark E. Josephson MD7
  1. Ajit H. Janardhan1,
  2. Di Lang2 and
  3. Igor R. Efimov2

Published Online: 18 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118481585.ch9

Cardiac Mapping, Fourth Edition

Cardiac Mapping, Fourth Edition

How to Cite

Janardhan, A. H., Lang, D. and Efimov, I. R. (2013) Optical Mapping of the Sinoatrial Node and Atrioventricular Node, in Cardiac Mapping, Fourth Edition (eds M. Shenasa, G. Hindricks, M. Borggrefe, G. Breithardt and M. E. Josephson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118481585.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Attending Physician, Department of Cardiovascular Services, O'Connor Hospital, Heart & Rhythm Medical Group, San Jose, California, USA

  2. 4

    Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), University Leipzig, Heart Center, Director, Department of Electrophysiology, Leipzig, Germany

  3. 5

    Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Head, Department of Cardiology, Angiology and Pneumology, University Medical Center, Mannheim Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany

  4. 6

    Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Cardiology, Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hospital of the University of Münster, Münster, Germany

  5. 7

    Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Director, Harvard-Thorndike Electrophysiology Institute and Arrhythmia Service, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Herman C. Dana Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 DEC 2012
  2. Published Print: 10 JAN 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470670460

Online ISBN: 9781118481585



  • sinoatrial node;
  • SAN;
  • exit block;
  • atrial flutter;
  • atrial fibrillation;
  • atrioventricular node;
  • AVN;
  • slow pathway;
  • fast pathway;
  • junctional rhythm;
  • Connexin43;
  • Cx43;
  • AV node reentry;


Technological advances often precede scientific breakthroughs that have led to leaps in our understanding of human physiology. The advent of the electrical galvanometer was a landmark advancement that enabled careful study of the electrical activation of the heart. Similarly, optical imaging, or mapping, using fluorescent, voltage sensitive dyes has enabled the careful study of the sinoatrial (SA) and atrioventricular (AV) nodes, and improved our understanding of how anatomic structure is related to electrophysiological function. We review the major findings of optical mapping studies of the sinoatrial node (SAN) and atrioventricular node (AVN), with particular emphasis on clinically relevant physiology and pathophysiology. We pay particular attention to clinical implications of these seminal findings derived from animal models and from the optical mapping study of human hearts. The studies presented are intended to improve the reader's understanding of SAN and AVN physiology, as well as to offer insight into the advantages and limitations of optical mapping.