Document Detail


Anatomy of the python heart.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20376590     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The hearts of all snakes and lizards consist of two atria and a single incompletely divided ventricle. In general, the squamate ventricle is subdivided into three chambers: cavum arteriosum (left), cavum venosum (medial) and cavum pulmonale (right). Although a similar division also applies to the heart of pythons, this family of snakes is unique amongst snakes in having intracardiac pressure separation. Here we provide a detailed anatomical description of the cardiac structures that confer this functional division. We measured the masses and volumes of the ventricular chambers, and we describe the gross morphology based on dissections of the heart from 13 ball pythons (Python regius) and one Burmese python (P. molurus). The cavum venosum is much reduced in pythons and constitutes approximately 10% of the cavum arteriosum. We suggest that shunts will always be less than 20%, while other studies conclude up to 50%. The high-pressure cavum arteriosum accounted for approximately 75% of the total ventricular mass, and was twice as dense as the low-pressure cavum pulmonale. The reptile ventricle has a core of spongious myocardium, but the three ventricular septa that separate the pulmonary and systemic chambers--the muscular ridge, the bulbuslamelle and the vertical septum--all had layers of compact myocardium. Pythons, however, have unique pads of connective tissue on the site of pressure separation. Because the hearts of varanid lizards, which also are endowed with pressure separation, share many of these morphological specializations, we propose that intraventricular compact myocardium is an indicator of high-pressure systems and possibly pressure separation.
Authors:
Bjarke Jensen; Jens R Nyengaard; Michael Pedersen; Tobias Wang
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-04-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  Anatomical science international / Japanese Association of Anatomists     Volume:  85     ISSN:  1447-073X     ISO Abbreviation:  Anat Sci Int     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-22     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101154140     Medline TA:  Anat Sci Int     Country:  Japan    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  194-203     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Zoophysiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University, Building 1131, 130, Universitetsparken, 8000 Århus C, Denmark. bjarke.jensen@biology.au.dk
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