Assessment of Atrioventricular Nodal Physiology in the Mouse

Brian A. Vanderbrink, Mark S. Link, Mark J. Aronovitz, Samir Saba, Stephen B. Sloan, Munther K. Homoud, N. A Mark Estes, Paul J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Transgenic mice are increasingly being utilized for understanding cardiac electrophysiologic abnormalities. However, little is known about the normal atrioventricular nodal and infraHisian physiology in the mouse because of the prior inability to record a His-bundle deflection. We present the first comprehensive examination of the murine atrioventricular nodal and His-Purkinje systems employing His-bundle recordings. Normal, healthy, male C57BL/6J mice (n = 48) underwent an in vivo electrophysiology study using a 2 F octapolar electrode catheter. Effective refractory periods were determined during premature atrial and ventricular stimulation. The PR interval measured 44 ± 6 ms with a mean sinus cycle length of 185 ± 42 ms. Baseline AH intervals were 36 ± 5 ms and HV intervals were 10 ± 2 ms. At a pacing cycle length of 140 ms the atrioventricular nodal effective refractory period (AVNERP) and atrial effective refractory period (AERP) were 86 ± 19 ms and 57 ± 17 ms, respectively. The mean AV Wenckebach and 2:1 paced cycle length were 103 ± 14 ms and 84 ± 13 ms, respectively. Premature atrial stimulation curves were asymptotic without discontinuity. A subset of nine mice was studied after administration of isoproterenol. The sinus cycle length, AVNERP and AERP decreased significantly from baseline measurements. This method establishes a practical and feasible technique to record in vivo His-bundle electrograms in the mouse to assess atrioventricular nodal and infraHisian physiology. Use of this model will allow for the examination of abnormalities of atrioventricular nodal and infraHisian conduction in transgenic murine models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


  • Atrioventricular conduction
  • Atrioventricular nodal effective refractory period
  • His-bundle
  • Mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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