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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2000 Sep;279(3):H959-69.

Right and left ventricular wall deformation patterns in normal and left heart hypoplasia chick embryos.

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Cardiovascular Development Research Program, Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.


The vertebrate embryonic ventricle transforms from a smooth-walled single tube to trabeculated right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) chambers during cardiovascular morphogenesis. We hypothesized that ventricular contraction patterns change from globally isotropic to chamber-specific anisotropic patterns during normal morphogenesis and that these deformation patterns are influenced by experimentally altered mechanical load produced by chronic left atrial ligation (LAL). We measured epicardial RV and LV wall strains during normal development and left heart hypoplasia produced by LAL in Hamburger-Hamilton stage 21, 24, 27, and 31 chick embryos. Normal RV contracted isotropically until stage 24 and then contracted preferentially in the circumferential direction. Normal LV contracted isotropically at stage 21, preferentially in the longitudinal direction at stages 24 and 27, and then in the circumferential direction at stage 31. LAL altered both RV and LV strain patterns, accelerated the onset of preferential RV circumferential strain patterns, and abolished preferential LV longitudinal strain (P < 0.05 vs. normal). Mature patterns of anisotropic RV and LV deformation develop coincidentally with morphogenesis, and changes in these deformation patterns reflect altered cardiovascular function and/or morphogenesis.

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