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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2013 Jun;26(6):582-8. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Left ventricular false tendons: anatomic, echocardiographic, and pathophysiologic insights.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 11373, USA.


Left ventricular (LV) false tendons are chordlike structures that traverse the LV cavity. They attach to the septum, to the papillary muscles, or to the free wall of the ventricle but not to the mitral valve. They are found in approximately half of human hearts examined at autopsy. Although it has been more than 100 years since their initial description, the functional significance of these structures remains largely unexplored. It has been suggested that they retard LV remodeling by tethering the walls to which they are attached, but there are few data to substantiate this. Some studies have suggested that false tendons reduce the severity of functional mitral regurgitation by stabilizing the position of the papillary muscles as the left ventricle enlarges. LV false tendons may also have deleterious effects and have been implicated in promoting membrane formation in discrete subaortic stenosis. This article reviews current understanding of the anatomy, echocardiographic characteristics, and pathophysiology of these structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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