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Title: The architecture of the atrial musculature between the orifice of the inferior caval vein and the tricuspid valve: The anatomy of the isthmus
Authors: Cabrera, José Angel
Sánchez-Quintana, Damián
Ho, Siew Yen
Medina, Alfonso 
Anderson, Robert H.
UNESCO Clasification: 321305 Cirugía de garganta, nariz y oídos
Keywords: Anisotropy
Atrial Flutter
Catheter Ablation
Issue Date: 1998
Journal: Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 
Abstract: Introduction: Electrophysiologists recognize a so-called isthmus" in the right atrium through which passes the reentrant circuit of common atrial nutter. Ablative lesions placed in this narrow channel have proved effective in breaking the circuit, To the best of our knowledge, however, no study has been performed to establish the arrangement and orientation of the atrial myocardial fibers in this crucial area.Methods and Results: We examined 28 normal heart specimens, identifying a quadrilateral area composed of three morphologic sectors between the inferior caval vein and the tricuspid valve confluent superiorly with the triangle of Koch, Within this quadrilateral, there are constant recesses, or sinuses, inferior and lateral to the orifice of the coronary sinus. The inferior isthmus measured an average of 31 +/- 4 mm (range 19 to 40), Gross examination identified marked differences in the atrial wall forming the quadrilateral, A smooth anterior component forming the vestibule of the tricuspid valve was found in all the hearts, but variations in the remaining sectors were seen in ten specimens, The usually membranous posterior sector was noticeably muscular in three specimens, while the middle, trabecular sector was more membranous in five specimens. We demonstrated the orientation of the subendocardial atrial fibers by dissection in 14 specimens, revealing a relatively constant overall pattern in eight specimens and variations in fiber orientation in the remaining specimens.Conclusion: There are considerable anatomic variations in the atrial wall that comprises the so-called isthmus, The presence of recesses and membranous areas in some hearts and the variations in arrangement of the subendocardial fibers are relevant in improving understanding of conduction in this area.
ISSN: 1045-3873
DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.1998.tb00091.x
Source: Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology [ISSN 1045-3873], v. 9 (11), p. 1186-1195, (Noviembre 1998)
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