Dynamics of normal and ischemic canine papillary muscles

Stephen C. Rayhill, George T. Daughters, Luis J. Castro, Marek A. Niczyporuk, Marc R. Moon, Neil B. Ingels, Michael L. Stadius, Geraldine C. Derby, Ann F. Bolger, D. Craig Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This investigation was designed to elucidate the dynamics of the left ventricular (LV) papillary muscles. Miniature tantalum myocardial markers were placed on the tip and base of each papillary muscle in six dogs. Markers were also implanted into the LV myocardium to define two orthogonal equatorial diameters and the long-axis dimension. Two weeks later, after recovery from thoracotomy, markers were visualized by biplane fluoroscopy, and video images were recorded during control conditions, after autonomic blockade, after inotropic stimulation with calcium, after methoxamine infusion (to increase afterload), and after blood volume augmentation (to increase preload). Two days later, radiographic recordings were made before and after occlusion of the left circumflex coronary artery. Computer-aided analysis of the video recordings was used to determine three-dimensional coordinates of the markers. It was found that before circumflex coronary occlusion, the dynamics of both papillary muscles closely mimicked the dynamics of the LV as a whole. The papillary muscles shortened during ejection and lengthened during diastole. Their lengths changed minimally during the isovolumic periods, and this behavior was not altered by any of the interventions except coronary occlusion. During circumflex coronary artery occlusion, the ischemic posterior papillary muscle lengthened during isovolumic contraction and most of ejection and shortened only when LV pressure began to fall. Hence, we believe that previous studies demonstrating papillary muscle lengthening during isovolumic contraction and shortening during isovolumic relaxation may have been confounded by coexistent myocardial ischemia or stunning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1187
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • isovolumic contraction
  • isovolumic relaxation
  • left ventricular dynamics
  • radiopaque markers


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