Electrical conduction between the right atrium and the left atrium via the musculature of the coronary sinus

Matthias Antz, Kenichiro Otomo, Mauricio Arruda, Benjamin J. Scherlag, Jan Pitha, Claudio Tondo, Ralph Lazzara, Warren M. Jackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background - The purpose of this study was to determine whether the coronary sinus (CS) musculature has electrical connections to the right atrium (RA) and left atrium (LA) and forms an RA-LA connection. Methods and Results - Six excised dog hearts were perfused in a Langendorff preparation. A 20-electrode catheter (2-4-2-mm spacing center to center) was placed along the CS. Excision of the pulmonary veins provided access to the LA, and a second 20-electrode catheter was placed along the LA endocardium opposite the CS catheter. An incision opened the CS longitudinally, and microelectrodes were inserted into the CS musculature and adjacent LA myocardium. Continuous CS musculature was visible along a 35±9-mm length of the CS beginning at the ostium. During lateral LA pacing, CS electrodes recorded double potentials, a rounded, low-frequency potential followed by a sharp potential. The rounded initial potential propagated in the lateral-to-septal direction and represented 'far-field' LA activation (timing coincided with adjacent LA potentials and with action potentials recorded from microelectrodes in adjacent LA cells). The sharp potential represented CS activation (timing coincided with action potentials recorded from CS musculature). A distal LA- CS connection (earliest sharp potential in the CS during lateral LA pacing) was located 26±7 mm from the ostium. During RA pacing posterior to the CS ostium, CS electrodes recorded septal-to-lateral activation of the high- frequency potential, with slightly later activation of the rounded potential (LA activation). Incisions surrounding the CS ostium isolating the ostium from the RA had no effect on the CS musculature and LA potentials during RA pacing within the isolated segment containing the CS ostium. RA pacing outside the isolated segment delayed activation of the CS musculature until after LA activation, confirming that the RA-CS connection was located in the region of the CS ostium as well as confirming the presence of the LA-CS connection. Conclusions - In canine hearts, the CS musculature is electrically connected to the RA and the LA and forms an RA-LA connection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1790-1795
Number of pages6
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Oct 27 1998


  • Action potentials
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrium
  • Conduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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