The relationship between mitral papillary muscles positions and characteristics of the QRS complex.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: QRS complex characteristics are considered to be one of the most significant diagnostic and prognostic determinants for assessment of several cardiac conditions. However, there is a large variability of the QRS complex even among "normal" individuals. This study was based on 2 assumptions: (1) that the portion of the left ventricular endocardium activated earliest is directly supplied by the "fanlike" distribution of the anterior, middle, and posterior fascicles of the left bundle branch, and (2) that the anterior and posterior fascicles course toward their respective mitral papillary muscles. These structures could therefore serve as anatomical landmarks to indicate the borders of this fanlike distribution of primary "start points" of left ventricular activation. AIMS: The primary aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that location of both papillary muscles closer to the septum correlates with longer QRS duration. The secondary aim of the study is to test the hypothesis that the balance of the distances of the anterior and posterior papillary muscles from the septum is related to the direction of the frontal plane QRS axis. METHODS: The study population consisted of 16 healthy adult volunteers with a mean age of 26 +/- 9 years, mean height of 170 +/- 12 cm, and mean weight of 68 +/- 10 kg. Measurements were done on the magnetic resonance images from all study subjects. Positions of papillary muscles were assessed as a predictive variable of QRS duration. RESULTS: A significant correlation was found between the closer position of both papillary muscles to the septum and longer QRS duration (R = 0.7, P = .02). Subjects with higher ratio of anterior papillary muscle vs posterior papillary muscle free wall angle correlates with inferior rotation of the average axis of QRS complex in the frontal plane (R = 0.5, P = .04). CONCLUSIONS: The positions of the papillary muscles in relation to the free wall and septum wall can be predictive of both QRS duration and the direction of the QRS complex of the heart. These results might provide a new basis for prediction of QRS complex characteristics of an individual and, thus, differentiate between real QRS complex abnormalities and variants of normal.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Hakacova, N; Robinson, AMC; Olson, CW; Selvester, RH; Wagner, GS

Published Date

  • November 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 487 - 490

PubMed ID

  • 18822423

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18822423

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8430

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-0736

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2008.07.025


  • eng