The Sinus Node pp 166-182 | Cite as

The Development of the Sinoatrial Node

  • Robert H. Anderson
  • Ho Siew Yen
  • Anton E. Becker
  • John A. Gosling


In contrast to the many investigations devoted to the morphological development of the atrioventricular specialized tissues (see James, 1970; Anderson and Taylor, 1972 for review) few researchers have studied the development of the sinoatrial node. Amongst the reports existing on this subject, descriptions of the initial histological differentiation of the node differ markedly. Some investigations have failed to distinguish nodal tissue until relatively late in development. Thus, Shaner (1929) first observed structurally distinct nodal cells in a 100 mm calf fetus while Robb, Kaylor and Turman (1948) first noted this tissue in a 160 mm human fetus. In contrast, Sanabria (1936), Walls (1947), Muir (1951), Van Mierop and Gessner (1970) and Yamauchi (1965) have all recognized specialized tissue at much earlier stages prior to completion of septation of the developing heart. Further disagreement concerns the origin of the node as either a paired (Patten, 1956) or as a unilateral structure (Van Mierop and Gessner, 1970). An entirely different area of controversy surrounds the presence or absence of specialized connexions extending from the sionatrial node through the atrial myocardium (James, 1970; Janse and Anderson, 1974).


Superior Vena Superior Vena Cava Nodal Cell Human Fetus Right Atrium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, R.H., Taylor, I.M.: Development of atrioventricular specialized tissue in human heart. Brit Heart J 34: 1205, 1972PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, R.H., Janse, M.J., Van Capelle, F.J.L., Billette, J., Becker, A.E., Durrer, C.: A combined morphological and electrophysiological study of the atrioventricular node of the rabbit heart. Circulation Res 35: 909, 1974PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, R.H., Wenink, A.C.G., Becker, A.E., Janse, M.J.: Development of the Specialized Tissues. in Conduction System of the Heart: Structure, function and clinical implications, edited by Wellens, H.J.J., Lie, K.I., Janse, M.J. Stenfert Kroese, Leiden, p 1–28, 1976Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, R.H., Wenink, A.C.G., Losekoot, R.G., Becker, A.E.: Congenitally Complete Heart Block — Developmental Aspects. Circulation, 56: 90, 1977PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, A.E., Anderson, R.H.: Morphology of the Human Atrioventricular Junctional Area. in Conduction System of the Heart: Structure, function and clinical implications, edited by Wellens, H.J.J., Lie, K.I., Janse, M.J. Stenfert Kroese, Leiden, p. 263–286, 1976Google Scholar
  6. Gosling, J.A.: Observations on the distribution of intrarenal nervous tissue. Anat Rec 163: 81, 1969PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hudson, R.E.B.: The human pacemaker and its pathology. Br Heart J 22: 153, 1960PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Isa, L., Matturi, L., Rossi, L.: Contributo isto-citologico al riconoscimento delle connessioni internodali atriali. G Ital Cardiol 6: 1024, 1976PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. James, T.N.: Anatomy of the human sinus node. Anat Rec 141: 109, 1961PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. James, T.N.: The connecting pathways between the sinus node and the A-V node and between the right and left atrium in the human heart. Am Heart J 66: 498, 1963PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. James, T.N.: Cardiac conduction system: fetal and post-natal development. Am J Cardiol 25: 321, 1970Google Scholar
  12. Janse, M.J., Anderson, R.H.: Specialized Internodal Atrial Pathways: Fact or Fiction? Eur J Cardiol 2: 117, 1974Google Scholar
  13. Keith, A., Flack, M.W.: The form and nature of the muscular connections between the primary divisions of the vertebrate heart. J Anat Physiol 41: 171, 1907Google Scholar
  14. Lev, M., Watne, A.L.: Method for routine histopathologic study of human sinoatrial node. AMA Arch Path 57: 168, 1954Google Scholar
  15. Muir, A.R.: The development of the sino-atrial node in the heart of the sheep. J Anat 85: 430, 1951Google Scholar
  16. Patten, B.M.: Development of the sinoventricular conduction system. Univ Mich Med Bull 22: 1, 1956PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Robb, J.S., Kaylor, C.T., Turman, W.G.: A study of specialized heart tissue at various stages of development of the human fetal heart. Am J Med 5: 324, 1948PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sanabria, T.: Recherches sur la differenciation du tissu nodal et connecteur du coeur des mammiferes. Arch Biol 47: 1, 1936Google Scholar
  19. Shaner, R.F.: The development of the atrioventricular node, bundle of His and sinoatrial node in the calf; with a description of a third embryonic nodelike structure. Anat Rec 44: 85, 1929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Spach, M.S., King, T.D., Barr, R.C., Boaz, D.C., Morrow, M.N., Herman-Giddens, S.: Electrical potential distribution surrounding the atria during depolarization and repolarization in the dog. Circulation Res 24: 857, 1969PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Spach, M.S., Lieberman, M., Scott, J.C., Barr, R.C., Johnson, E.A., Kootsey, J.M.: Excitation sequences of the atrial septum and AV node in isolated hearts of the dog and rabbit. Circulation Res 29: 156, 1971PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Strauss, H.C., Bigger, J.T. Jr.: The electrophysiological properties of the rabbit sinoatrial perinodal fibers. Circulation Res 31: 490, 1972PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Van Mierop, L.H.S.: Location of pacemaker in chick embryo heart at the time of initiation of heartbeat. Am J Physiol 212: 407, 1967PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Van Mierop, L.H.S., Gessner, I.H.: The morphologic development of the sinoatrial node in the mouse. Am J Cardiol 25: 204, 1970PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Walls, E.W.: The development of the specialized conducting tissue of the human heart. J Anat 81: 93, 1947Google Scholar
  26. Yamauchi, A.: Electron microscopic observations on the development of S-A and A-V nodal tissues in the human embryonic heart. A Anat Entwickl Gesch 124: 562, 1965CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Medical Division 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. Anderson
  • Ho Siew Yen
  • Anton E. Becker
  • John A. Gosling

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations