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Smooth muscle in the human mitral valve: extent and implications for dynamic modelling

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Nordrum IS, Skallerud B. Smooth muscle in the human mitral valve: extent and implications for dynamic modelling. APMIS 2012; 120: 484–94.

The mitral valve is increasingly been regarded as having dynamic and contractile capabilities, but the presence of muscle in the valve has been investigated to a limited extent. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence, architecture and phenotype of muscle in the human mitral valve. Twelve mitral valves were cut into strips, sectioned for histology, and the cut edges examined by microscope after staining included immunophenotyping. Smooth muscle bundles were present at the atrial side of the leaflets, and distinctly more in the anterior leaflet than in the posterior leaflet. The smooth muscle bundles extended up to two‐thirds the distance from the annulus to the rim of the leaflets, and they ran in various directions, but seemingly mainly perpendicular to the annulus. The thickness and density of the bundles seemed to decrease with the distance from the annulus, and also in a radial direction from the centre portion of each leaflets attachment at the annulus towards the rim. Cross striation was not detected. Cardiac muscle in the left atrial wall extended into the annular base of the leaflets in close proximity to the annular border of the smooth muscle bundles in the leaflets. In conclusion, especially the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve seems to have a separate smooth muscle formed as a meshwork of bundles close to the atrial surface.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Structural Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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