Development and optimization of an in vivo electrocardiogram recording method and analysis program for adult zebrafish

Thuy Vy Duong, Rebecca Rose, Adriana Blazeski, Noah Fine, Courtney E. Woods, Joseph F. Thole, Nona Sotoodehnia, Elsayed Z. Soliman, Leslie Tung, Andrew S. McCallion, Dan E. Arking

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Clinically pertinent electrocardiogram (ECG) data from model systems, such as zebrafish, are crucial for illuminating factors contributing to human cardiac electrophysiological abnormalities and disease. Current zebrafish ECG collection strategies have not adequately addressed the consistent acquisition of high-quality traces or sources of phenotypic variation that could obscure data interpretation. Thus, we developed a novel platform to ensure high-quality recording of in vivo subdermal adult zebrafish ECGs and zebrafish ECG reading GUI (zERG), a program to acquire measurements from traces that commercial software cannot examine owing to erroneous peak calling. We evaluate normal ECG trait variation, revealing highly reproducible intervals and wave amplitude variation largely driven by recording artifacts, and identify sex and body size as potential confounders to PR, QRS and QT intervals. With this framework, we characterize the effect of the class I anti-arrhythmic drug flecainide acetate on adults, provide support for the impact of a Long QT syndrome model, and establish power calculations for this and other studies. These results highlight our pipeline as a robust approach to evaluate zebrafish models of human cardiac electrophysiological phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdmm048827
JournalDMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Cardiac electrophysiology
  • Flecainide acetate
  • Regression model development
  • Zebrafish adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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