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Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2018 Nov;301(11):1801-1808. doi: 10.1002/ar.23902. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Heart Anatomy of Rhincodon typus: Three-Dimensional X-Ray Computed Tomography of Plastinated Specimens.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
2
Okinawa Churashima Research Center, Okinawa Churashima Foundation, Okinawa, Japan.

Abstract

In this study, we examined the structure of the heart of the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, using a plastination technique and three-dimensional X-ray computer tomography (3DCT). Inspection of the atrium revealed a symmetric distribution of the pectinate muscles attached to the commissures of the sino-atrial valve, suggesting some functional advantages. The majority of the ventricular wall comprised spongiosa, and compacta accounted for only ~3% of the entire thickness. There were three major fiber orientations in the spongiosa: the fibers on the endocardial side formed trabeculae that were aligned with the blood flow tract, whereas those on the epicardial side formed a circular pattern around the flow tract. Transmural myofibers connected the inner and outer layers in the spongiosa, which may serve as an intraventricular conduction pathway. Plastination and 3DCT is a powerful combination that allowed for multifaceted visualization of the internal structure of rare heart specimens in a nondestructive manner. Anat Rec, 301:1801-1808, 2018.

KEYWORDS:

X-ray computed tomography; heart; myocardial architecture; plastination; whale shark

PMID:
30288958
DOI:
10.1002/ar.23902

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