Magnetic resonance myocardial fiber-orientation mapping with direct histological correlation

Am J Physiol. 1998 May;274(5):H1627-34. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.1998.274.5.H1627.


Functional properties of the myocardium are mediated by the tissue structure. Consequently, proper physiological studies and modeling necessitate a precise knowledge of the fiber orientation. Magnetic resonance (MR) diffusion tensor imaging techniques have been used as a nondestructive means to characterize tissue fiber structure; however, the descriptions so far have been mostly qualitative. This study presents a direct, quantitative comparison of high-resolution MR fiber mapping and histology measurements in a block of excised canine myocardium. Results show an excellent correspondence of the measured fiber angles not only on a point-by-point basis (average difference of -2.30 +/- 0.98 degrees, n = 239) but also in the transmural rotation of the helix angles (average correlation coefficient of 0.942 +/- 0.008 with average false-positive probability of 0.004 +/- 0.001, n = 24). These data strongly support the hypothesis that the eigenvector of the largest MR diffusion tensor eigenvalue coincides with the orientation of the local myocardial fibers and underscore the potential of MR imaging as a noninvasive, three-dimensional modality to characterize tissue fiber architecture.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Heart / anatomy & histology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Myocardium / cytology*