Living morphogenesis of the ventricles and congenital pathology of their component parts

Cardiol Young. 2001 Nov;11(6):588-600. doi: 10.1017/s1047951101000932.


Living morphogenetic studies show that each definitive ventricle is constructed from different primitive cardiac segments, and each has its specific anatomical features. These ventricular segments are the atrioventricular junction; the primitive inlet segment, part of the primary heart tube, which initially provides the inlets of each ventricle; the primitive outlet segment, which gives rise to both ventricular outlets; and the apical trabeculated regions of the right and left ventricles which grow from the primary heart tube, respectively. In this review, we describe regional pathology based on the relationship of these primitive ventricular components. We propose that the abnormal morphogenesis of one of these segments gives origin to regional ventricular pathology. For example, abnormal embryogenesis of the atrioventricular canal produces malformations of the atrioventricular junctions, such as double inlet ventricle, absence of one atrioventricular connection, and straddling and overriding atrioventricular valves. Similarly, abnormal morphogenesis of the primitive outlet segment gives rise to malformations of the subarterial region of each ventricle, along with the valves guarding these vessels. The principal anatomical features of these malformations of the ventricular inlets and outlets are described, and their possible morphogenesis is discussed. Due to the fact that the apical trabeculated region of each ventricle arises from a separate primitive segment, each ventricle can be identified according to the pattern of its apical trabeculations. This feature is crucial in the elucidation of complex congenital pathology, such as discordant atrioventricular connections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / embryology*
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / pathology*
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities*
  • Heart Ventricles / embryology*
  • Humans
  • Morphogenesis / physiology