, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 95-99
Date: 09 Aug 2008

Venous valves within left ventricular coronary veins

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to quantify and characterize venous valves within the major left ventricular (LV) veins of human hearts.

Methods

Fiberscope cameras were inserted into the coronary sinus and were manipulated to major LV coronary veins of perfusion fixed human hearts (n = 26). Observed venous valves were categorized by type and location and compared among the major LV veins.

Results

Discernible venous valves were present in 23 of 26 examined hearts (89%); altogether, 105 valves were identified. Sixty-one of the valves were observed at the ostia to smaller branch veins (58% of all valves observed).

Conclusions

Coronary venous valves could hinder or aid in the advancement of guide wires, catheters, and/or the placement of leads for a variety of cardiac interventional procedures. The characterization and quantification of venous valves could explain the difficulty or success in accessing targeted coronary venous locations.