Changes in regional myocardial volume during the cardiac cycle: Implications for transmural blood flow and cardiac structure

Hiroshi Ashikaga, Benjamin A. Coppola, Katrina G. Yamazaki, Francisco J. Villarreal, Jeffrey H. Omens, James W. Covell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although previous studies report a reduction in myocardial volume during systole, myocardial volume changes during the cardiac cycle have not been quantitatively analyzed with high spatiotemporal resolution. We studied the time course of myocardial volume in the anterior mid-left ventricular (LV) wall of normal canine heart in vivo (n = 14) during atrial or LV pacing using transmurally implanted markers and biplane cineradiography (8 ms/frame). During atrial pacing, there was a significant transmural gradient in maximum volume decrease (4.1, 6.8, and 10.3% at subepi, midwall, and subendo layer, respectively, P = 0.002). The rate of myocardial volume increase during diastole was 4.7 ± 5.8, 6.8 ± 6.1, and 10.8 ± 7.7 ml·min-1·g-1, respectively, which is substantially larger than the average myocardial blood flow in the literature measured by the microsphere method (0.7-1.3 ml·min -1·g-1). In the early activated region during LV pacing, myocardial volume began to decrease before the LV pressure upstroke. We conclude that the volume change is greater than would be estimated from the known average transmural blood flow. This implies the existence of blood-filled spaces within the myocardium, which could communicate with the ventricular lumen. Our data in the early activated region also suggest that myocardial volume change is caused not by the intramyocardial tissue pressure but by direct impingement of the contracting myocytes on the microvasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H610-H618
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Mechanical dyssynchrony
  • Myocardial structure
  • Ventricular pacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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