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