Anatomy of the tricuspid annulus. Circumferential myofibers as the structural basis for atrial flutter in a canine model.
BACKGROUND Little anatomic information is available on the annular myocardium. This study was conducted to determine the anatomic substrate for atrial flutter due to circus movement around the tricuspid annulus in the Y-shaped incision canine model of atrial flutter.
METHODS AND RESULTS We studied photographs of the annular myocardium serial histological sections, made in either of three different planes, and compared these with photographs of the intact and blocked gross heart specimens. We found that the annulus is the most caudal region of the atrial wall. The epicardial aspect of the annulus abuts the ventricular septum or the aortic root in the medial region; in other regions, it is covered by the fat of the coronary sulcus. Its endocardial aspect is delimited by the tricuspid leaflets inferiorly and by the pectinate muscle bundles superiorly, except in the medial region where the pectinate muscle bundles are absent. The annular myocardium is bilaminated. A continuous subepicardial circumferential lamina is the most prominent and is robust in the anterior, lateral, and posterior regions, but it attenuates to a fine muscular connection in the medial region. Myofibers of its superior border merge with the pectinate muscle bundles or are admixed in the medial region with myocardium at the base of the medial atrial wall. Its inferior border makes little contact with the annulus fibrosus about the ring; however, in the medial region, these myofibers insert into fibrous tissue superior to the septal leaflet. A discontinuous, subendocardial perpendicular lamina contains myofibers that descend from the atrium; most of these myofibers insert into the annulus fibrosus about the ring, but the lamina is absent in the anteromedial region.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that the continuous circumferential lamina provides the anatomic substrate for circus movement of excitation in this model.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association