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How are the cardiomyocytes aggregated together within the walls of the left ventricular cone?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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© 2019 Anatomical Society. The manner of packing together of the cardiomyocytes within the walls of the cardiac ventricles has now been investigated for over half a millennium. In 1669, Lower dissected the ventricular mass, likening the arrangement to skeletal musculature, in the form of a myocardial band extending between the right and left atrioventricular junctions. Pettigrew subsequently showed obvious helical arrangements to be evident within the ventricular walls, but emphasised that the cardiomyocytes were attached to each other, and could not justifiably be compared with skeletal cardiomyocytes. Torrent-Guasp then reactivated the notion that the ventricular mass was formed of a solitary band. Unlike Lower, he dissected the band as extending between the pulmonary to the aortic roots. Multiple investigations conducted using gross dissection and histology, and more recently diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomographic analysis, have shown an absence of any anatomical boundaries within the walls that might permit the mass uniformly to be dissected so as to reveal the band. A response to a recent letter to the Journal, nonetheless, claimed that the dissections had been validated by clinicians interpreting the findings so as to provide an explanation for ventricular cardiodynamics, arguing that the findings provided a suitable anatomical model for this purpose. Anatomical models, however, are of no value unless they are anatomically correct. In this review, therefore, we summarise the evidence showing that the cardiomyocytes making up the ventricular walls, rather than forming a ventricular myocardial band, are instead aggregated together to form a three-dimensional myocardial mesh.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson RH, Niederer PF, Sanchez-Quintana D, Stephenson RS, Agger P

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Anatomy

Year: 2019

Volume: 235

Issue: 4

Pages: 697-705

Print publication date: 01/10/2019

Online publication date: 17/06/2019

Acceptance date: 14/05/2019

ISSN (print): 0021-8782

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7580

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/joa.13027