Remodeling in myocardium adjacent to an infarction in the pig left ventricle

Scott D. Zimmerman
John Criscione
James W. Covell

Abstract

Changes in the structure of the "normal" ventricular wall adjacent to an infarcted area involve all components of the myocardium (myocytes, fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix, and the coronary vasculature) and their three-dimensional structural relationship. Assessing changes in these components requires tracking material markers in the remodeling tissue over long periods of time with a three-dimensional approach as well as a detailed histological evaluation of the remodeled structure. The purpose of the present study was to examine the hypotheses that changes in the tissue adjacent to an infarct are related to myocyte elongation, myofiber rearrangement, and changes in the laminar architecture of the adjacent tissue. Three weeks after myocardial infarction, noninfarcted tissue adjacent to the infarct remodeled by expansion along the direction of the fibers and in the cross fiber direction. These changes are consistent with myocyte elongation and myofiber rearrangement (slippage), as well as a change in cell shape to a more elliptical cross section with the major axis in the epicardial tangent plane, and indicate that reorientation of fibers either via "cell slippage" or changes in orientation of the laminar structure of the ventricular wall are quantitatively important aspects of the remodeling of the normally perfused myocardium.