Quantitative relation between sites of atrial impulse origin and cycle length

J. P. Boineau, R. B. Schuessler, W. R. Roeske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Having previously described the multicentric origin of the atrial impulse from sites widely distributed over the right atrium as wel as an intrinsic link between these sites of origin and cycle length (CL), we undertook a quantitative study of this relationship. In 132 dogs anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium or fentanyl citrate, we recorded atrial activation sequence maps from 360 closely positioned electrodes and determined locations of impulse origin at heart rates between 80 and 240 (CL between 750 and 250). We used cardiac nerve stimulation and agonist-antagonist infusion to produce changes in CL and impulse origin. Results demonstrate a significant correlation between site of impulse origin and CL. These sites, associated with both the sinus node (SN) and extranodal sites, function predictably and consistently controlling impulse initiation at heart rates above and below rates at which the SN predominates. This relationship can be used to specify an anatomic-functional model of atrial pacemaker hierarchy and to quantitate the response to different atrial regions to specific pharmacological and physiological interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H781-H789
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative relation between sites of atrial impulse origin and cycle length'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this