On the human left ventricular shape

Haim Azhari, Rafael Beyar, Samuel Sideman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The geometry of the heart plays a major role in the cardiac function. The purpose of this study was to characterize analytically the geometric properties of the left ventricular (LV) three-dimensional (3D) shape, while excluding the effects of aspect ratio and size. Two groups of human hearts were studied by Cine-CT. The first group was composed of 10 healthy volunteers and the second of 9 pathological hearts. The hearts were scanned form apex to base. The endocardial borders of each LV scan were traced and used to reconstruct the 3D LV at end-diastole (ED) and end-systole (ES). Using a special normalized helical shape descriptor, denoted 'geometrical cardiogram' (GCG), the typical 3D normal ED and ES shapes were determined. These typical shapes were then analytically approximated via a discrete cosine transform (DCT). The shape of each LV was then investigated for its correspondence to five analytically defined shapes: (i) a cone, (ii) a sphere, including all ellipsoidal shapes, (iii) a cylinder, (iv) a truncated ellipsoid, and (v) the DCT approximation of the normal LV shape. The results indicate that the normal LV shape can be well approximated by using only seven coefficients of the DCT. Conicity was the only geometrical feature which did not change from ED to ES in the normal group of hearts. The most prominent shape difference between normal and abnormal hearts was the significantly reduced conicity of the latter. Conicity is an important feature of LV geometry. The possible contribution of the conical shape to LV ejection efficiency is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-282
Number of pages19
JournalComputers and Biomedical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cine CT
  • Electron beam tomography
  • Geometrical cardiogram
  • Geometry
  • Heart
  • Human
  • Three dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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