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Heart. 2001 Sep;86(3):265-70.

Architecture of the pulmonary veins: relevance to radiofrequency ablation.

Author information

1
National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Dovehouse Street, London SW3 6LY, UK. yen.ho@ic.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Radiofrequency ablation of tissues in pulmonary veins can eliminate paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the characteristics of normal pulmonary veins so as to provide more information relevant to radiofrequency ablation.

METHODS:

20 structurally normal heart specimens were examined grossly. Histological sections were made from 65 pulmonary veins.

RESULTS:

The longest myocardial sleeves were found in the superior veins. The sleeves were thickest at the venoatrial junction in the left superior pulmonary veins. For the superior veins, the sleeves were thickest along the inferior walls and thinnest superiorly. The sleeves were composed mainly of circularly or spirally oriented bundles of myocytes with additional bundles that were longitudinally or obliquely oriented, sometimes forming mesh-like arrangements. Fibrotic changes estimated at between 5% and 70% across three transverse sections were seen in 17 veins that were from individuals aged 30 to 72 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

The myocardial architecture in normal pulmonary veins is highly variable. The complex arrangement, stretch, and increase in fibrosis may produce greater non-uniform anisotropic properties.

PMID:
11514476
PMCID:
PMC1729909
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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