The human heart: application of the golden ratio and angle

Int J Cardiol. 2011 Aug 4;150(3):239-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2011.05.094. Epub 2011 Jun 23.


The golden ratio, or golden mean, of 1.618 is a proportion known since antiquity to be the most aesthetically pleasing and has been used repeatedly in art and architecture. Both the golden ratio and the allied golden angle of 137.5° have been found within the proportions and angles of the human body and plants. In the human heart we found many applications of the golden ratio and angle, in addition to those previously described. In healthy hearts, vertical and transverse dimensions accord with the golden ratio, irrespective of different absolute dimensions due to ethnicity. In mild heart failure, the ratio of 1.618 was maintained but in end-stage heart failure the ratio significantly reduced. Similarly, in healthy ventricles mitral annulus dimensions accorded with the golden ratio, while in dilated cardiomyopathy and mitral regurgitation patients the ratio had significantly reduced. In healthy patients, both the angles between the mid-luminal axes of the pulmonary trunk and the ascending aorta continuation and between the outflow tract axis and continuation of the inflow tract axis of the right ventricle approximate to the golden angle, although in severe pulmonary hypertension, the angle is significantly increased. Hence the overall cardiac and ventricular dimensions in a normal heart are consistent with the golden ratio and angle, representing optimum pump structure and function efficiency, whereas there is significant deviation in the disease state. These findings could have anatomical, functional and prognostic value as markers of early deviation from normality.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Heart / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Organ Size