Document Detail

Epicardial neural ganglionated plexus of ovine heart: anatomic basis for experimental cardiac electrophysiology and nerve protective cardiac surgery.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20197118     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Sheep are routinely used in experimental cardiac electrophysiology and surgery.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to (1) ascertain the topography and architecture of the ovine epicardial neural plexus (ENP), (2) determine the relationships of ENP with vagal and sympathetic cardiac nerves and ganglia, and (3) evaluate gross anatomic differences and similarities of ENP in humans, sheep, and other species.
METHODS: Ovine ENP and extrinsic sympathetic and vagal nerves were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase in whole heart and/or thorax-dissected preparations from 23 newborn lambs, with subsequent examination by stereomicroscope.
RESULTS: Intrinsic cardiac nerves extend from the venous part of the ovine heart hilum along the roots of the cranial (superior) caval and left azygos veins to both atria and ventricles via five epicardial routes: dorsal right atrial, middle dorsal, left dorsal, right ventral, and ventral left atrial nerve subplexuses. Intrinsic nerves proceeding from the arterial part of the heart hilum along the roots of the aorta and pulmonary trunk extend exclusively into the ventricles as the right and left coronary subplexuses. The dorsal right atrial, right ventral, and middle dorsal subplexuses receive the main extrinsic neural input from the right cervicothoracic and right thoracic sympathetic T(2) and T(3) ganglia as well as from the right vagal nerve. The left dorsal is supplied by sizeable extrinsic nerves from the left thoracic T(4)-T(6) sympathetic ganglia and the left vagal nerve. Sheep hearts contained an average of 769 +/- 52 epicardial ganglia. Cumulative areas of epicardial ganglia on the root of the cranial vena cava and on the wall of the coronary sinus were the largest of all regions (P <.05).
CONCLUSION: Despite substantial interindividual variability in the morphology of ovine ENP, right-sided epicardial neural subplexuses supplying the sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes are mostly concentrated at a fat pad between the right pulmonary veins and the cranial vena cava. This finding is in sharp contrast with a solely left lateral neural input to the human atrioventricular node, which extends mainly from the left dorsal and middle dorsal subplexuses. The abundance of epicardial ganglia distributed widely along the ovine ventricular nerves over respectable distances below the coronary groove implies a distinctive neural control of the ventricles in human and sheep hearts.
Inga Saburkina; Kristina Rysevaite; Neringa Pauziene; Karl Mischke; Patrick Schauerte; José Jalife; Dainius H Pauza
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-03-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Heart rhythm : the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1556-3871     ISO Abbreviation:  Heart Rhythm     Publication Date:  2010 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-07-15     Completed Date:  2010-11-22     Revised Date:  2013-05-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101200317     Medline TA:  Heart Rhythm     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  942-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 Heart Rhythm Society. All rights reserved.
Institute of Anatomy, Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania.
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MeSH Terms
Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
Animals, Newborn
Azygos Vein / innervation
Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / methods*
Epicardial Mapping
Ganglia, Autonomic / cytology,  physiology
Heart / innervation*
Heart Atria / innervation
Heart Ventricles / innervation
Neural Pathways / physiology
Pericardium / innervation
Sympathetic Nervous System / anatomy & histology
Vagus Nerve / anatomy & histology
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
Comment In:
Auton Neurosci. 2012 Sep 25;170(1-2):1-2   [PMID:  22902010 ]
Heart Rhythm. 2010 Jul;7(7):951-2   [PMID:  20226276 ]

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