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Pneumatic Distension of Ventricular Mural Architecture Validated Histologically

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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Purpose: There are ongoing arguments as to how cardiomyocytes are aggregated together within the ventricular walls. We used pneumatic distension through the coronary arteries to exaggerate the gaps between the aggregated cardiomyocytes, analyzing the pattern revealed using computed tomography, and validating our findings by histology.Methods: We distended 10 porcine hearts, arresting 4 in diastole by infusion of cardioplegic solutions, and 4 in systole by injection of barium chloride. Mural architecture was revealed by computed tomography, measuring also the angulations of the long chains of cardiomyocytes. We prepared the remaining 2 hearts for histology by perfusion with formaldehyde.Results: Increasing pressures of pneumatic distension elongated the ventricular walls, but produced insignificant changes in mural thickness. The distension exaggerated the spaces between the aggregated cardiomyocytes, compartmenting the walls into epicardial, central, and endocardial regions, with a feathered arrangement of transitions between them. Marked variation was noted in the thicknesses of the parts in the different ventricular segments, with no visible anatomical boundaries between them. Measurements of angulations revealed intruding and extruding populations of cardiomyocytes that deviated from a surface-parallel alignment. Scrolling through the stacks of tomographic images revealed marked spiraling of the aggregated cardiomyocytes when traced from base to apex.Conclusion: Our findings call into question the current assumption that cardiomyocytes are uniformly aggregated together in a tangential fashion. There is marked heterogeneity in the architecture of the different ventricular segments, with the aggregated units never extending in a fully transmural fashion.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burg MC, Lunkenheimer P, Niederer P, Brune C, Redmann K, Smerup M, Spiegel U, Becker F, Maintz D, Heindel W, Anderson RH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: RoeFo Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der Roentgenstrahlen und der bildgebenden Verfahren

Year: 2016

Volume: 188

Issue: 11

Pages: 1045-1053

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Acceptance date: 11/08/2016

ISSN (print): 1438-9029

ISSN (electronic): 1438-9010

Publisher: Georg Thieme Verlag


DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-115569


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