Diastolic shape of the right ventricle of the heart

Peter J. Yim, Belinda Ha, Jose I. Ferreiro, G. William Henry, Craig A. Branch, Timothy A. Johnson, Carol L. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Knowledge of right ventricular (RV) shape is important to the understanding of RV mechanical function and for the improvement of clinically important RV volume estimation techniques. Refinements to the simplest conceptions of RV shape are presented statistically here, based on a quantitative analysis of three-dimensional magnetic resonance (MR) images of excised lamb hearts. Methods: The passive shape of the heart in six freshly excised lamb hearts was studied with MR imaging with independent passive pressurization of both ventricles. Global features of shape were assessed, including measurement of short-axis, cross-sectional shape parameters associated with the pinched-arc model. Results: The slice-area x apex-base length was found to be highly correlated with the volume of the RV, with little sensitivity to the degree of filling of the ventricle or to the exact slice chosen (r = 0.987; n = 22 from five hearts). The RV was shown to follow a clockwise helical path around the left ventricle of 47 ± 17°, below the outflow tract, as seen from the apical view, progressing from the apex to the base. Based on the pinched-arc model, the anterior arc is shallower than the posterior arc, with a larger radius of curvature and a smaller angle between the arc and the septal axis. As the RV is passively filled, opposite changes in shape occur between the anterior and posterior regions tending to equalize their shapes. Conclusions: A high degree of regularity of shape does exist in the RV and, thus, can be characterized effectively in terms of a representative cross-sectional shape and in terms of the changes in that shape proceeding from the base to the apex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-324
Number of pages9
JournalThe Anatomical record
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart
  • Lamb
  • Right ventricle shape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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