European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
/> Cover Volume 15 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 15 (1): 17-28 (2011)

Anatomical bases of supraventricular arrhythmias

Damián Sánchez-Quintana, Margarita Murillo

Departamento de Anatomía y Biología Celular, Facultad de Medicina de Badajoz, Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain

ABSTRACT The adoption of catheter ablation techniques for the treatment of tachyarrhythmias in humans has increased the interest in cardiac anatomy. Interventional arrhythmologists have had to study the gross morphologic and architectural features of the heart. In addition, a new investigational wave has emerged to revisit cardiac anatomic topics for which the information was incomplete or simply wrong. As a result, recent studies have unraveled anatomic features, architectural aspects, and histologic details of certain components of the heart that are of interest to understand the substrates of tachycardias and their ablation. The purpose of this study was to review the gross morphological band structural details of the right and left atria such as the terminal crest (crista terminalis), cavotricuspid isthmus, Koch´s triangle, and its content, the Eustachian ridge or valve, the sub-Thebesian recess, the PV orifices and their neighboring left atrial landmarks and the architecture of the venoatrial junction. In addition, we describe the anatomy of the left atrial isthmus and, the oblique vein of Marshall. The relationship of the important structures in the neighborhood of the left atrium and the pulmonary veins as the oesophagus and phrenic nerves are also described.

Keywords: Right atrium, Terminal crest, Cavotricuspid isthmus, Pulmonary veins, Oesophagus, Phrenic nerves

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)