Background: The presence and extent of contraction within the pulmonary veins (PVs) have not been defined clearly. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether PV contraction exists and can be visualized using multislice computed tomography (MSCT) scanning as this may indicate that this modality may be useful for monitoring patients after PV isolation procedures. Methods: Analysis was performed on 29 patients (mean age 57.5 ± 12 years) undergoing MSCT for suspected coronary artery disease without structural heart disease or left atrial anatomical variants. Multiplane reconstructions were used to measure PV diameters at 0, 5, 10, and 15 mm from the ostium in two phases (maximum and minimum size). The ejection fractions of three 5-mm segments were calculated for each PV. Results: Right-sided and left-sided PV contraction and maximal atrial contraction occurred at a median of 85% and 95% of the cardiac cycle, respectively. The temporal concordance of minimal PV volume during peak atrial contraction indicated that the PV volume changes are secondary to active contraction rather than passive reflux and PV distension. The ejection fractions were highest in the superior veins: right superior PV (36.7%, 27.8%, and 16%, respectively, for the three segments from proximal to distal) and left superior PV (26.9%, 21.3%, and 12.1%), in comparison with the right inferior PV (21.1%, 6.6%, and -0.7%) and left inferior PV (15%, 9.3%, and 7.6%). Conclusion: Volume changes related to active PV contraction occur extending up to 15 mm into the veins, and this effect is most pronounced in the superior veins.
- CT scanning
- Myocardial contraction/physiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)