Morphology of the Human Tricuspid Valve
The morphology of 50 normal tricuspid valves was studied. The surface of the leaflets was divided into three zones: (1) the rough zone, into which most of the chordae tendineae are inserted, (2) the basal zone, and (3) the clear zone, which lies between the rough and basal zones.
Five types of chordae were distinguished by their morphology and mode of insertion: fan-shaped, rough zone, basal, free edge, and deep chordae. The last two types are unique to the tricuspid valve.
If fan-shaped chordae, used to define the commissures between the leaflets, are absent, other landmarks may be used for commissural definition. Once defined, all tissue between the commissures was regarded as part of the anterior, posterior, or septal leaflet. The recognition that the free edges of the anterior and septal leaflets contain notches, that rough zone chordae insert into them, and that the posterior leaflet has scallops further aids identification of a leaflet's components. Thus, structures formerly regarded as accessory leaflets were incorporated into one of the three leaflets.
- Received August 24, 1970.
- Accepted October 28, 1970.
- © 1971 American Heart Association, Inc.