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OBJECTIVE: Using high resolution cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), we aimed to detect new details of left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function, to explain the twisting and longitudinal movements of the left ventricle. METHODS: Using CMR phase contrast velocity mapping (also called Tissue Phase Mapping) regional wall motion patterns and longitudinally and circumferentially directed movements of the left ventricle were studied using a high temporal resolution technique in healthy male subjects (n = 14, age 23 +/- 3 years). RESULTS: Previously undescribed systolic and diastolic motion patterns were obtained for left ventricular segments (based on the AHA segmental) and for basal, mid and apical segments. The summation of segmental motion results in a complex pattern of ventricular twisting and longitudinal motion in the normal human heart which underlies systolic and diastolic function. As viewed from the apex, the entire LV initially rotates in a counter-clockwise direction at the beginning of ventricular systole, followed by opposing clockwise rotation of the base and counter-clockwise rotation at the apex, resulting in ventricular torsion. Simultaneously, as the entire LV moves in an apical direction during systole, the base and apex move towards each other, with little net apical displacement. The reverse of these motion patterns occur in diastole. CONCLUSION: Left ventricular function may be a consequence of the relative orientations and moments of torque of the sub-epicardial relative to the sub-endocardial myocyte layers, with influence from tethering of the heart to adjacent structures and the directional forces associated with blood flow. Understanding the complex mechanics of the left ventricle is vital to enable these techniques to be used for the evaluation of cardiac pathology.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cardiovasc Magn Reson

Publication Date





Adult, Diastole, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Systole, Ventricular Function, Left