• Sanatani, Shubhayan


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Head, Division of Cardiology, BC Children’s Hospital
    Professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations
    B.Sc., MD
    Primary Area of Research
    Childhood Diseases
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Michelle Legaspi
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address

    Children's Heart Centre
    Room 1F9
    4480 Oak Street
    Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Pediatric electrophysiology

    • Arrhythmias

    • Inherited heart rhythm disorders           
      o Long QT syndrome
      o CPVT

    • Sudden death


      As a pediatric electrophysiologist, my research focuses on the rhythm of the heart. Disturbances in the rhythm of the heart, or arrhythmias, can occur in otherwise healthy children or in children with heart disease. My research aims to improve the outcome of children who have arrhythmias.
      Many potentially lethal conditions affecting the heart rhythm are inherited and I work on heritable conditions causing arrhythmias. This research involves collaborations with clinician and basic scientists from all over the world to improve our understanding of inherited heart rhythm disorders.

      Current Projects

      The current clinical electrophysiology researches focuses on two main research topics:

      Sudden unexpected death (SUD):  Sudden death affects about 500000 individuals each year in North America. The vast majority of these cases occur in older individuals with coronary artery disease. An important number of cases, however, are due to hidden heart disease, either latent structural disease or primary electrical heart disease. These disorders are typically due to mutations in the genes responsible for the electrical heart beat and corresponding muscle contraction. The abnormalities predispose the individual to potentially lethal cardiac rhythm abnormalities.

      I am part of a national research collaboration examining families of SUD victims to identify the cause of SUD in these families. We have many active research collaborations on sudden death in the young. My clinical work in SUD substrates has led to multidisciplinary collaboration with basic scientists, geneticists, genetic counselors and lay personnel. We have described a novel mutation in a Northern British Columbia community predisposing many individuals to SUD. This work has led to further collaboration, grants and ongoing research. We currently lead an international registry on pediatric catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, a rare, but lethal heart condition.

      Working with a group of anesthetists, we examined the effects of anesthetic agents on cardiac repolarization. Abnormalities of repolarization have been linked to sudden death and arrhythmias. This project was one of several projects dealing with cardiac repolarization.

      I am a member of the medical advisory for the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation and serve on the scientific advisory board of the American SADS Foundation. I was the Vice-President of Research for the international Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) prior to serving as president in 2016-17. 

      Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT): Supraventricular tachycardia remains the most common chronic rhythm disturbance. I was the Principal Investigator on a Heart and Stroke funded multi-site study examining two antiarrhythmia medications in infants with this rhythm disturbance. This study was among very few prospective controlled studies in pediatric electrophysiology. This study led to the creation of the International SVT Pediatric SVT Research Interest group, which continues to support pediatric SVT research.

      In the realm of SVT, CIHR-funded collaborations with the cardiac basic science group are ongoing, examining mechanisms of post-operative arrhythmias. This group has isolated cells from a neonatal rabbit’s cardiac conduction system. To our knowledge, the isolation of neonatal AV nodal cells had not been done before.

      Selected Publications

      For the latest publications, please visit Dr. Sanatani’s ORCID profile

      Etheridge SP, Escudero CA, Blaufox AD, Law IH, Dechert-Crooks BE, Stephenson EA, Dubin AM, Ceresnak SR, Motonaga KS, Skinner JR, Marcondes LD, Perry JC, Collins KK, Seslar SP, Cabrera M, Uzun O, Cannon BC, Aziz PF, Kubuš P, Tanel RE, Valdes SO, Sami S, Kertesz NJ, Maldonado J, Erickson C, Moore JP, Asakai H, Mill L, Abcede M, Spector ZZ, Menon S, Shwayder M, Bradley DJ, Cohen MI, Sanatani S. Life-threatening event risk in children with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome: a multicenter international study. JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2017.

      Dewar LJ, Alcaide M, Fornika D, D’Amato L, Shafaatalab S, Stevens CM, Balachandra T, Phillips SM, Sanatani S, Morin RD, Tibbits GF. Investigating the genetic cause of sudden unexpected death in children through targeted next-generation sequencing analysis. Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2017; 10(4):pii: e001738. doi:101161/CIRCGENETICS.116.001738.

      Roston TM, Cunningham T, Lehman A, Laksman ZW, Krahn AD, Sanatani S. Beyond the electrocardiogram: mutations in cardiac ion channel genes underlie nonarrhythmic phenotypes. Clin Med Insights Cardiol 2017; 11:1-7 doi:10.1177/1179546817698134.

      Sanatani S, Cunningham TC, Khairy P, Cohen MI, Hamilton R, Ackerman MJ. The current state and future potential of pediatric and congenital electrophysiology. JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2017; 3(3):195-206.

      Roston TM, Vinocur JM, Maginot KR, Mohammed S, Salerno JC, Etheridge SP, Cohen M, Hamilton RM, Pflaumer A, Kanter RJ, et al (Sanatani S). 2015. Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in children: An analysis of therapeutic strategies and outcomes from an international multicenter registry. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol .PMID: 25713214. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCEP.114.002217.

      Whyte SD, Nathan A, Myers D, Watkins SC, Kannankeril PJ, Etheridge SP, Andrade J, Collins KK, Law IH, Hayes J, et al (Sanatani S). 2014. The safety of modern anesthesia for children with long QT syndrome. Anesth Analg 119(4):932-8.PMID: 25076102. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000389.

      Kang KT, Etheridge SP, Kantoch MJ, Tisma-Dupanovic S, Bradley DJ, Balaji S, Hamilton RM, Singh AK, Cannon BC, Schaffer MS, et al (Sanatani S). 2014. Current management of focal atrial tachycardia in children: A multicenter experience. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 7(4):664-70. PMID: 25015944. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCEP.113.001423.

      Kang KT, Potts JE, Radbill AE, La Page MJ, Papagiannis J, Garnreiter JM, Kubus P, Kantoch MJ, Von Bergen NH, Fournier A, et al (Sanatani S). 2014. Permanent junctional reciprocating tachycardia in children: A multicenter experience. Heart Rhythm 11(8):1426-32. PMID: 24769425. DOI: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2014.04.033.

      Gill C, Ansermino MJ, Sanatani S, Mulpuri K, Doan Q. Paediatric patient family engagement with clinical research at a tertiary care paediatric hospital. Paediatric and Child Health. December 2014, Volume 19 Issue 10: 537-542. PMID: 255872333

      Harris KC, Holowachuk S, Pitfield S, Sanatani S, Froese N, Potts JE, Gandhi SK. Should early extubation be the goal for children after congenital cardiac surgery? J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Jul 30. pii: S0022-5223(14)00987-8. PMID: 
      . DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.06.093.

      Whyte SD, Nathan A, Myers D, Watkins SC, Kannankeril PJ, Etheridge SP, Andrade J, Collins KK, Law IH, Hayes J, Sanatani S. Safety of Modern Anesthesia for Children with Long QT Syndrome. Anesthesia and Analgesia (in Press). (SA) PMID: 25076102. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000389.

      Kang K, Etheridge SP, Kantoch MJ, Tisma-Dupanovic S, Bradley DJ, Balaji S, Hamilton R, Singh AK, Cannon BC, Schaffer MS, Potts JE, Sanatani S. Current Management of Focal Atrial Tachycardia in Children: A Multi-Center Experience. Circ Arrhyth & EP 2014 Jul 11. pii: CIRCEP.113.001423. (SA). PMID: 25015944. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCEP.113.001423.

      Asghari P, Scriven DRL, Sanatani S, Gandhi SK, Campbell AI, Moore ED. Nonuniform and Variable Arrangements of Ryanodine Receptors Within Mammalian Ventricular Couplons. Circ Res 2014 Jul 7;115(2):252-62. (CA). PMID: 24786399. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.303897.

      Kang KT, Potts JE, Radbill AE, La Page MJ, Papagiannis J, Garnreiter JM, Kubus P, Kantoch MJ, Von Bergen NH, Fournier A, Côté JM, Paul T, Anderson CC, Cannon BC, Miyake CY, Blaufox AD, Etheridge SP, Sanatani S. Permanent junctional reciprocating tachycardia in children: A multi-center experience. Heart Rhythm 2014 Aug;11(8):1426-32. (SA) PMID: 24769425.DOI: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2014.04.033.

      Moore JP, Patel PA, Shannon KM, Albers EL, Salerno J, Stephenson E, Mohan S, Shah MJ, Asakai H, Pflaumer A, Czosek RJ, Garnreiter J, McCanta AC, Papez A, Escudero C, Sanatani S, Cain N, Kannankeril PJ, Bratincsak A, Mandapati R, Silva J, Balaji S. Predictors of Myocardial Recovery in Pediatric Tachycardia-Induced Cardiomyopathy. Heart Rhythm 2014 Jul;11(7):1163-9. (CA) PMID: 24751393. DOI: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2014.04.023.

      Escudero CA, Sanatani S, MD, Wong KK, Templeton CG. Electrocardiogram interpretation by Canadian general pediatricians: examining practice, accuracy, and confidence. Paediatrics & Child Health 2014 Feb;19(2):77-83. PMID: 24596480.

      Mills LC, Gow RM, Myers K, Kantoch MJ, Gross GJ, Fournier A, Sanatani S. Lone Atrial Fibrillation in the Pediatric Population. Can J Cardiol 2013 Oct;29(10):1227-33. PMID: 24074972. DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2013.06.014.

      Escudero C, Carr R, Sanatani S. Overview of antiarrhythmic drug therapy for supraventricular tachycardia in children. Progress in Pediatric cardiology. PMID:  17413437.

      Escudero CE, Khairy P, Sanatani S. Electrophysiologic Considerations in Congenital Heart Disease and their Relationship to Heart Failure. Can J Cardiol 2013 Jul;29(7):821-9. PMID: 23642334. DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2013.02.016 .

      Roston T, De Souza A, Sandor G, Sanatani S, Potts J. Physical activity recommendations in congenital and electrophysiological heart disease: A survey of Canadian health care providers. Pediatric Cardiol (2013) 34:1374–1381. 

      Krahn AD, Sanatani S, Gardner MJ, Arbour L. Inherited Heart Rhythm Disease: Negotiating the Minefield for the Practicing Cardiologist. Can J Cardiol 2013 Jan;29(1):122-5. PMID: 23261322. DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2012.11.009.

      Bennett MT, Sanatani S, Chakrabarti S, Deyell MW, Krahn AD. Assessment of Genetic Causes of Cardiac Arrest. Can J Cardiol 2013 Jan;29(1):100-10. PMID:  23200097. DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2012.07.002.
      Honours & Awards

      Canadian Pacific Has Heart Cardiovascular Award. Heart and Stroke Foundation. Oct 2015

      Resident Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Award, UBC Department of Pediatrics. 2011-2012

      Teacher of the Year Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, UBC Department of Pediatrics. 2006

      Golden Rattle Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia – 2003-04

      Rookie of the Year Award, Department of Pediatrics, UBC – 2001-02

      Research Group Members