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Local characteristics of the normal and asynergic left ventricle in man

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      Abstract

      The significance of ventricular asynergy in determining medical prognosis and surgical risk in patients with coronary artery disease and its delineation by ventriculography have been of increasing interest. To determine the underlying histopathologic and electrographic features of left ventricular asynergy, 39 patients undergoing open heart surgery were studied. Thirty-six histopathologic specimens were obtained in 31 patients (26 as transmural needle biopsies and 10 as aneurysm resections). In four normally contracting areas and 12 hypokinetic areas, neither fibrosis nor early changes of myocardial damage was evident. In contrast, of eight akinetic areas there was more than 50 per cent muscle loss in four and from 30 to 35 per cent muscle loss in three, in only one area was there less than 10 per cent muscle loss. Of 12 dyskinetic zones there was more than 75 per cent muscle loss in 10 zones, 35 per cent in one and no pathologic abnormalities in one.
      Epicardial electrograms were obtained from 35 areas in 29 patients. Of 10 normally contracting ventricles, in one, pathologic Q waves were demonstrated only over the inferior area. Progressive increases in the severity of asynergy were associated with a progressive increase in frequency of initial abnormal Q waves. In only one of nine hypokinetic areas were epicardial Q waves exhibited, but they were present in six of 10 akinetic and five of six dyskinetic areas.
      Both histopathologic and electrographic data were available from 20 asynergic areas in 16 patients. Initial epicardial R waves were associated with normal biopsy specimens in seven of eight hypokinetic areas. Of seven akinetic areas, initial R waves were associated with 30 to 35 per cent muscle loss in three; of four areas with initial Q waves, there was a 35 per cent muscle loss in one and more than 50 per cent muscle loss in three. Similarly, of five dyskinetic segments, a QS pattern was associated with more than 75 per cent fibrosis in four. In one dyskinetic area there was an initial R wave in association with a normal appearing biopsy specimen.
      In summary, a good correlation exists between the severity of asynergy by ventriculography, the degree of muscle loss and the presence of epicardial Q waves. However, a significant amount of histologically and electrographically normal myocardium may be present even in severely asynergic areas.
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