Sahar Mohsin, F J Currans and B Wilkins
National University of Ireland, Ireland
United Arab Emirates University, UAE
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Anat Physiol
The mitral valve apparatus is a complex three-dimensional functional unit that is critical to unidirectional heart pump function. Understanding the morphology of the normal mitral valve apparatus is essential to comprehend various alterations observed in mitral valve diseases. We aimed to investigate the morphology of the chordae tendineae and the papillary muscle junction in the human mitral valve. This study includes the mitral valve apparatus from eight normal human hearts, which were obtained from the Pathology Department of University Hospital Galway, Ireland. We employed light, transmission and scanning electron microscopy techniques to study the mitral valve apparatus. This study showed that the chordae tendineae and papillary muscles exhibit considerable variation in their number, appearance and pattern of arrangement. False or ├?┬ó├?┬?├?┬?atypical chordae├?┬ó├?┬?├?┬? were also observed. Results showed that the chordae tendinae are primarily fibrocollagenous structures, with predominantly elastic fibers in the periphery and collagen fibres forming the main core. Longitudinal as well as circumferential pattern of arrangement for collagen and elastic fibers was observed. The chordae tendineae and papillary muscle junction area was found to be adequately vascularized. Blood vessels appear to spiral along the longitudinal axis of the chordae. Few degenerating axons were identified in the periphery of the chordae. Typical arrangement of collagen fibers within chordae may prevent the imposition of excessive strains on the individual collagen fibrils. It will be interesting to investigate the role of atypical chordae in mitral valve diseases. This study extends our understanding of the structural aspects of the normal mitral valve apparatus.