Conventional surgical thinking indicates that mitral annular (MA) size reduction plays a key role in mitral valve closure, and most MA size and shape changes are thought to occur during left ventricular (LV) systole. The influences of left atrial (LA) and LV systole on MA size and shape, however, remain debated.Eight radiopaque markers were placed equidistantly around the MA and imaged using high-speed simultaneous biplane videofluoroscopy in seven closed-chest, sedated sheep before and during asynchronous LV pacing. Marker images were used to compute the three-dimensional coordinates of each marker every 16.7 ms throughout the cardiac cycle, allowing calculation of three-dimensional MA area, septal-lateral (SL) dimension, and commissure-commissure (CC) dimension under control and LV pacing conditions. Maximum MA area occurred in early diastole, and minimum MA area near end-diastole; maximum area reduction was 12+/-1% (P< or =.001). Interestingly, 89+/-3% of area reduction occurred before LV systole. During this "presystolic" period, SL decreased by 8+/-1% and CC by 2+/-1%; the SL/CC ratio fell from 0.73+/-0.02 to 0.69+/-0.01 (P< or =.005), indicating a less circular shape at end-diastole. With LV pacing, total MA area reduction was similar (13+/-2 versus 12+/-1%, P=NS versus control); however, all MA area reduction occurred during LV systole with minimum MA area occurring at end-systole. Presystolic shortening in both SL and CC dimensions was lost, and presystolic ellipticalization disappeared.Changes in MA size and shape coincident with LA systole included area reduction and shape change prior to the onset of LV contraction. These presystolic changes vanished when LA systole was absent (LV pacing). Thus, LA systole plays a pivotal role in MA size reduction and shape alteration. The unexpected timing of these MA dynamics should be taken into account during mitral valve reparative procedures.
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