Morphology and morphometry of pulmonary veins and the left atrium in multi-slice computed tomography.


Department of Descriptive and Clinical Anatomy, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Pulmonary veins are involved in pathogenesis and treatment of atrial fibrillation and structures at risk during thoracic surgeries. There is lack of data regarding pulmonary vein morphology and morphometry in normal population.
METHODS : The study was conducted using 135 chest computed tomography studies with intra-venous iodine contrast injection. The study population contained 86 females and 49 males, mean age was 60. 13 had atrial fibrillation.
The studies were analyzed using radiological workstation.
RESULTS : Mean dimensions of the left atrium: transverse 52 mm, coronal 49 mm, and sagittal 35 mm. The mean volume of the left atrium was 93 cm3. The mean volume of the left atrium in patients with atrial fibrillation was 176 cm3. The sagittal dimension and the volume of the left atrium were correlated with age, r = 0.43 and r = 0.42, respectively. Surface area of the left inferior pulmonary vein ostium was 136 mm2, significantly less than the surface area of other ostia of pulmonary veins. The mean distance between two pulmonary veins was 5.42 mm on the right and 4.02 mm on the left side. 13 types of pulmonary veins outflow patterns were described on the right side and 5 types on the left side. 66.7% of right pulmonary veins and 82% of the left pulmonary veins emptied into the left atrium with two venous trunks on each side (the typical pattern).
CONCLUSIONS : Morphological features of pulmonary veins and morphometry of the left atrium and pulmonary veins are important for clinical purposes and are in accordance with previous papers.


Anatomy,Atrial fibrillation,Computed tomography,Left atrium,Pulmonary vein ostium,Pulmonary veins,

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