Left Ventricular Geometric Remodeling and Residual Stress in the Rat Heart

[+] Author and Article Information
J. H. Omens, S. M. Vaplon, B. Fazeli, A. D. McCulloch

Department of Bioengineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093

J Biomech Eng 120(6), 715-719 (Dec 01, 1998) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2834884 History: Received January 02, 1998; Revised August 09, 1998; Online January 23, 2008


Theoretical considerations and observations of residual stress suggest that geometric remodeling in the heart may also alter residual stress and strain. We investigated whether changes in left ventricular geometry during physiologic growth were associated with corresponding changes in myocardial residual strain. In anesthetized rats from eight age groups ranging from 2–25+ weeks, the heart was arrested and isolated, and equatorial slices were obtained. The geometry of the intact, unloaded state was recorded, as well as the “opening angle” of the stress-free configuration after radial resection of the tissue slice. The tissue was fixed and embedded for histological examination of collagen area fraction. Heart weight increased 10-fold with age and unloaded internal radius increased almost 4-fold. However, wall thickness increased only 66 percent, so that the ratio of wall thickness to internal radius decreased significantly from 2.22 ± 0.29 (mean ± SD) at 2 weeks to 0.81 ± 0.47 at 25 weeks. Opening angle of the stress-free slice decreased significantly from 87 ± 16 deg at 2 weeks to 51 ± 16 deg, and correlated linearly with wall thickness/radius ratio. Collagen area fraction increased with age. Hence physiologic ventricular remodeling in rats decreases myocardial residual strain in proportion to the relative reduction in wall thickness–radius ratio.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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