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Revisiting the anatomy of the right ventricle in the light of knowledge of its development

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Anatomical Society. Controversies continue regarding several aspects of the anatomy of the morphologically right ventricle. There is disagreement as to whether the ventricle should be assessed in bipartite or tripartite fashion, and the number of leaflets to be found in the tricuspid valve. In particular, there is no agreement as to whether a muscular outlet septum is present in the normally constructed heart, nor how many septal components are to be found during normal development. Resolving these issues is of potential significance to those investigating and treating children with congenitally malformed hearts. With all these issues in mind, we have revisited our own experience in investigating the development and morphology of the normal right ventricle. To assess development, we have examined a large number of datasets, prepared by both standard and episcopic microscopy, from human and murine embryos. In terms of gross anatomy, we have compared dissections of normal autopsied hearts with virtual dissections of datasets prepared using computed tomography. Our developmental and postnatal studies, taken together, confirm that the ventricle is best assessed in tripartite fashion, with the three parts representing its inlet, apical trabecular, and outlet components. The ventricular septum, however, has only muscular and membranous components. The muscular part incorporates a small component derived from the muscularised fused proximal outflow cushions, but this part cannot be distinguished from the much larger part that is incorporated within the free-standing muscular infundibular sleeve. We confirm that the tricuspid valve itself has three components, which are located inferiorly, septally, and antero-superiorly.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Crucean A, Spicer DE, Tretter JT, Mohun TJ, Anderson RH

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Anatomy

Year: 2023

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 09/10/2023

Acceptance date: 19/09/2023

ISSN (print): 0021-8782

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7580

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc


DOI: 10.1111/joa.13960