Rationale and objectives. The authors tested the hypothesis that thecumulative length of arterial branches is related to the volume of tissue they perfuse. This experiment investigates the potential value of this approach for assessing the volume of myocardium at risk in cases of coronary occlusion. METHODS. The volume of myocardium perfused by coronary arterial branches and the cumulative length of the main feeder branches perfusing that volume were measured in vivo in pig hearts from multislice computed tomographic (CT) images of the heart, recorded during an aortic root injection of nonionic contrast agent. RESULTS. The relationship between the volume (V, in milliliters) of perfused myocardium and the length (L, in millimeters) of the left anterior descending artery was V = 42.4 × 10-0.011L (r = −0.892); for the right coronary artery, V = 37.0 × 10-0.008L (r = −0.888); and for the left circumflex coronary artery, V = 27.7 × 10-0.011L (r = −0.883). CONCLUSIONS. These results suggest that the maximum volume of myocardium at risk of infarction due to blockage along a coronary artery could possibly be estimated from the three-dimensional geometry of the epicardial coronary arterial tree.
- Branching pattern
- Infarct size
- Myocardium at risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging