Resolving the natural myocardial remodelling brought upon by cardiac contraction; a porcine ex-vivo cardiovascular magnetic resonance study of the left and right ventricle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Camilla Omann
  • Peter Agger
  • Nikolaj Bøgh
  • Christoffer Laustsen
  • Steffen Ringgaard
  • Robert H Anderson
  • Vibeke E Hjortdal
  • Morten Smerup

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Aarhus Universitet
  • Aarhus University Hospital
  • Newcastle University


BACKGROUND: The three-dimensional rearrangement of the right ventricular (RV) myocardium during cardiac deformation is unknown. Previous in-vivo studies have shown that myocardial left ventricular (LV) deformation is driven by rearrangement of aggregations of cardiomyocytes that can be characterised by changes in the so-called E3-angle. Ex-vivo imaging offers superior spatial resolution compared with in-vivo measurements, and can thus provide novel insight into the deformation of the myocardial microstructure in both ventricles. This study sought to describe the dynamic changes of the orientations of the cardiomyocytes in both ventricles brought upon by cardiac contraction, with particular interest in the thin-walled RV, which has not previously been described in terms of its micro-architecture.

METHODS: The hearts of 14 healthy 20 kg swine were excised and preserved in either a relaxed state or a contracted state. Myocardial architecture was assessed and compared between the two contractional states by quantification of the helical, transmural and E3-angles of the cardiomyocytes using high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging.

RESULTS: The differences between the two states of contraction were most pronounced in the endocardium where the E3-angle decreased from 78.6° to 24.8° in the LV and from 82.6° to 68.6° in the RV. No significant change in neither the helical nor the transmural angle was found in the cardiomyocytes of the RV. In the endocardium of the LV, however, the helical angle increased from 35.4° to 47.8° and the transmural angle increased from 3.1° to 10.4°.

CONCLUSION: The entire myocardium rearranges through the cardiac cycle with the change in the orientation of the aggregations of cardiomyocytes being the predominant mediator of myocardial wall thickening. Interestingly, differences also exist between the RV and LV, which helps in the explanation of the different physiological capabilities of the ventricles.


Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Myocardium, Diffusion tensor imaging, Micro-structure, Myocyte orientation, Myocardial architecture