The structure and function of the helical heart and it buttress wrapping. III. The electric spiral of the heart: The hypothesis of the anisotropic conducting matrix

H. Cecil Coghlan, Anthony R. Coghlan, Gerald D. Buckberg*, Morteza Gharib, James Lewis Cox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study of the dissemination of the electric impulse throughout the ventricular myocardium, which gave rise to the current theories, was performed without taking into consideration the complex architecture of the cardiac muscle elucidated by more recent researchers. We propose a novel hypothesis based on the special macroscopic structure of the heart, the anisotropic electric and mechanical behavior of the myocardium, the characteristics of the intercellular matrix and its very special collagen scaffolding, chemical composition, and biochemistry. The unique properties of the intercellular matrix would make it especially suited to function, in conjunction with the specialized conducting system (His-Purkinje system), as an efficient anisotropic conductor for the spread of electric activation in the heart, and to allow an optimal sequence of excitation-contraction coupling that results in the coordination of effective myocardial contraction in birds and mammals of the most varied known heart rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Keywords

  • Activation
  • Conduction
  • Contraction
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitation
  • Fiber architecture
  • Intercellular matrix
  • Myocardial band and spiral
  • Myocardium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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