Bands, Chords, Tendons, and Membranes in the Heart: An Imaging Overview

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2016 Nov-Dec;45(6):380-391. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2015.08.009. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Crests, bands, chords, and membranes can be seen within the different cardiac chambers, with variable clinical significance. They can be incidental or can have clinical implications by causing hemodynamic disturbance. It is crucial to know the morphology and orientation of normal structures, aberrant or accessory muscles, and abnormal membranes to diagnose the hemodynamic disturbance associated with them. Newer generation computed tomographic scanners and faster magnetic resonance imaging sequences offer high spatial and temporal resolution allowing for acquisition of high resolution images of the cardiac chambers improving identification of small internal structures, such as papillary muscles, muscular bands, chords, and membranes. They also help in identification of other associated complications, malformations, and provide a road map for treatment. In this article, we review cross-sectional cardiac imaging findings of normal anatomical variants and distinctive imaging features of pathologic bands, chords, or membranes, which may produce significant hemodynamic changes and clinical symptomatology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Membranes / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendons / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed