Guidelines for assessment of cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmias in small animals

Crystal M. Ripplinger, Alexey V. Glukhov, Matthew W. Kay, Bastiaan J. Boukens, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Brian P. Delisle, Larissa Fabritz, Thomas J. Hund, Bjorn C. Knollmann, Na Li, Katherine T. Murray, Steven Poelzing, T. Alexander Quinn, Carol Ann Remme, Stacey L. Rentschler, Robert A. Rose, Nikki G. Posnack

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Cardiac arrhythmias are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although recent advances in cell-based models, including human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CM), are contributing to our understanding of electrophysiology and arrhythmia mechanisms, preclinical animal studies of cardiovascular disease remain a mainstay. Over the past several decades, animal models of cardiovascular disease have advanced our understanding of pathological remodeling, arrhythmia mechanisms, and drug effects and have led to major improvements in pacing and defibrillation therapies. There exist a variety of methodological approaches for the assessment of cardiac electrophysiology and a plethora of parameters may be assessed with each approach. This guidelines article will provide an overview of the strengths and limitations of several common techniques used to assess electrophysiology and arrhythmia mechanisms at the whole animal, whole heart, and tissue level with a focus on small animal models. We also define key electrophysiological parameters that should be assessed, along with their physiological underpinnings, and the best methods with which to assess these parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1137-H1166
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

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Copyright © 2022 The Authors.


  • ECG
  • arrhythmia
  • cardiac electrophysiology
  • guidelines
  • small animals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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