Macroscopic Three-Dimensional Motion Patterns of the Left Ventricle

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The pattern of displacements in the left ventricle (LV) can be described by 13 modes of motion and deformation. Three functional modes of deformation are essential for ejection: a decrease in cavity volume, torsion, and ellipticalization. Four additional modes are used to describe asymmetric deformation. Six modes of rigid body motion describe rotation and translation. In the LV 14–20 radiopaque markers were inserted in the wall of the LV. They were distributed more or less evenly from base to apex and around the circumference. Torsion and volume changes require the definition of a cardiac coordinate system. The point at which ejection focusses is used as the origin, and the torsion axis is used as the z-axis. In the present study the coordinate system was positioned objectively by a least squares fit of the kinematic model to the measured motion of markers. In five dogs in the control state the kinematic parameters were determined as a function of time for all 13 modes. The torsion axis was displaced 4 ± 2 mm (mean±sd) from the center of the cross-section of the LV towards the lateral free wall. The direction of the torsion axis closely coincided with anatomical landmarks at the apex and base. During systole, a unique relation was found between the ratio of cavity volume to wall volume and torsion. This relation was universal to all LVs, the cylinder-symmetric mathematical model of cardiac mechanics inclusive. In diastole the patterns of deformation seem less universal and reproducible.