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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1988 Aug;12(2):415-25.

Sectional and segmental variability of left ventricular function: experimental and clinical studies using ultrafast computed tomography.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City.


In this study, ultrafast computed tomography, a new high spatial and temporal resolution imaging system, was employed to define the range of sectional (tomographic) and segmental left ventricular function in 11 normal anesthetized dogs and 11 normal human volunteers. After intravenous infusion of contrast agent, multilevel tomographic images of the left ventricle (apex to base) were acquired at a rate of 17 frames/s. Analysis of these studies demonstrated substantial but predictable heterogeneity in left ventricular contraction from apex to base. In dogs and humans, for example, the average tomographic ejection fraction of the most basal level of the left ventricle was 40% less than that of the most apical level (p less than 0.05). In humans, circumferential segmental cavity contraction at the mid-papillary muscle level was relatively homogeneous (range 50 to 92% for 12 wedge-shaped segments around the tomographic circumference) if the reference system employed an endocardial centroid, but was less uniform if it used an epicardial centroid (range 22 to 98%). It is concluded that contraction of the normal left ventricle in dogs and humans is heterogeneous both between levels (apex to base) and within a single level (circumferential cavity contraction). However, the patterns of cavity contraction from apex to base and circumferential segmental cavity contraction within a given level as defined by ultrafast computed tomography are sufficiently narrow and predictable in normal individuals that these variables may be useful to define regional contraction abnormalities in pathologic conditions.

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