Normal distal pulmonary vein anatomy.

Abstract

Background. It is well known that the pulmonary veins (PVs), especially their myocardial sleeves play a critical role in the initiation and maintenance of atrial fibrillation. Understanding the PV anatomy is crucial for the safety and efficacy of all procedures performed on PVs. The aim of this study was to present normal distal PV anatomy and to create a juxtaposition of all PV ostium variants. Methods. A total of 130 randomly selected autopsied adult human hearts (Caucasian) were examined. The number of PVs ostia was evaluated and their diameter was measured. The ostium-to-last-tributary distance and macroscopic presence of myocardial sleeves were also evaluated. Results. Five hundred forty-one PV ostia were identified. Four classical PV ostia patterns (two left and two right PVs) were observed in 70.8% of all cases. The most common variant was the classical pattern with additional middle right PV (19.2%), followed by the common ostium for the left superior and the inferior PVs (4.44%). Mean diameters of PV ostia (for the classical pattern) were: left superior = 13.8 ± 2.9 mm; left inferior = 13.3 ± 3.4 mm; right superior = 14.3 ± 2.9 mm; right inferior = 13.7 ± 3.3 mm. When present, the additional middle right PV ostium had the smallest PV ostium diameter in the heart (8.2 ± 4.1 mm). The mean ostium-to-last-tributary (closest to the atrium) distances were: left superior = 15.1 ± 4.6 mm; left inferior = 13.5 ± 4.0 mm; right superior = 11.8 ± 4.0 mm; right inferior = 11.0 ± 3.7 mm. There were no statistically significant differences between sexes in ostia diameters and ostium-to-last-tributary distances. Conclusion. Only 71% of the cases have four standard pulmonary veins. The middle right pulmonary vein is present in almost 20% of patients. Presented data can provide useful information for the clinicians during interventional procedures or radiologic examinations of PVs.

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.1579

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@article{KlimekPiotrowska2016NormalDP, title={Normal distal pulmonary vein anatomy.}, author={Wiesława Klimek-Piotrowska and Mateusz K. Hołda and Katarzyna Piątek and Mateusz Koziej and Jakub P. Hołda}, journal={PeerJ}, year={2016}, volume={4}, pages={e1579} }