Assessment and comparison of left ventricular shear in normal and situs inversus totalis hearts by means of magnetic resonance tagging

Alessandro C. Rossi, Marieke Pluijmert, Peter H. M. Bovendeerd, Wilco Kroon, Theo Arts, Tammo Delhaas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Situs inversus totalis (SIT) is characterized by complete mirroring of gross cardiac anatomy and position combined with an incompletely mirrored myofiber arrangement, being normal at the apex but inverted at the base of the left ventricle (LV). This study relates myocardial structure to mechanical function by analyzing and comparing myocardial deformation patterns of normal and SIT subjects, focusing especially on circumferential-radial shear. In nine control and nine SIT normotensive human subjects, myocardial deformation was assessed from magnetic resonance tagging (MRT) image sequences of five LV short-axis slices. During ejection, no significant difference in either circumferential shortening (epsilon(cc)) or its axial gradient (Delta epsilon(cc)) is found between corresponding LV levels in control and SIT hearts. Circumferential-radial shear (epsilon(cr)) has a clear linear trend from apex-to-base in controls, while in SIT it hovers close to zero at all levels. Torsion as well as axial change in ecr (Delta epsilon(cr)) is as in controls in apical sections of SIT hearts but deviates significantly towards the base, changing sign close to the LV equator. Interindividual variability in torsion and Delta epsilon(cr) values is higher in SIT than in controls. Apex-to-base trends of torsion and Delta epsilon(cr) in SIT, changing sign near the LV equator, further substantiate a structural transition in myofiber arrangement close to the LV equator itself. Invariance of epsilon(cc) and Delta epsilon(cc) patterns between controls and SIT subjects shows that normal LV pump function is achieved in SIT despite partial mirroring of myocardial structure leading to torsional and shear patterns that are far from normality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H416-H423
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • magnetic resonance tagging
  • myocardial contraction
  • situs inversus
  • myocardial shear
  • myofiber architecture


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