Semi-automated optical Heartbeat Analysis of small hearts

Karen Ocorr, Martin Fink, Anthony Cammarato, Sanford I. Bernstein, Rolf Bodmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We have developed a method for analyzing high speed optical recordings from Drosophila, zebrafish and embryonic mouse hearts (Fink, et. al., 2009). Our Semi-automatic Optical Heartbeat Analysis (SOHA) uses a novel movement detection algorithm that is able to detect cardiac movements associated with individual contractile and relaxation events. The program provides a host of physiologically relevant readouts including systolic and diastolic intervals, heart rate, as well as qualitative and quantitative measures of heartbeat arrhythmicity. The program also calculates heart diameter measurements during both diastole and systole from which fractional shortening and fractional area changes are calculated. Output is provided as a digital file compatible with most spreadsheet programs. Measurements are made for every heartbeat in a record increasing the statistical power of the output. We demonstrate each of the steps where user input is required and show the application of our methodology to the analysis of heart function in all three genetically tractable heart models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1435
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number31
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Dilated
  • Drosophila
  • Heart
  • Issue 31
  • KCNQ
  • Mouse
  • Movement detection
  • Myosin
  • Physiology
  • Restricted
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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