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The Structure and Function of the Helical Heart and Its Buttress Wrapping. IV. Concepts of Dynamic Function From the Normal Macroscopic Helical Structure

WB Saunders
Publication Date
  • Medicine


Torrent-Guasp's model of the helical heart is presented, which includes the cardiac muscular structures that produce 2 simple loops and that start at the pulmonary artery and end in the aorta. These components include a horizontal basal loop that surrounds the right and left ventricles, changes direction through a spiral fold in the ventricular band to cause a ventricular helix produced by now obliquely oriented fibers, forming a descending and ascending segment of the apical loop with an apical vortex. These anatomic concepts are successively activated to produce a sequence of narrowing by the basal loop, shortening by the descending segment, lengthening by the ascending segment, and widening in the cardiac cycle that causes ventricular ejection to empty and suction to fill. The factors responsible for internal torsional movements for cardiac output and suction are defined, together with mechanisms responsible for electromechanical activity produced during sequential changes in contraction and relaxation properties. These interactions of mechanical structure and function are defined in relation to pressure-related cardiac events observed from aortic, left ventricular, and left atrial recordings.

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