A simple planimetric method for determination of left ventricular mass and necrotic myocardial mass in postmortem hearts

P. J. Boor, E. S. Reynolds

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An efficient means of quantitating total left ventricular mass and myocardial infarct mass in postmortem hearts was developed and tested. The method is based on a geometric model that assumes the left ventricle to be a hollow cone. Cross sectional areas of left ventricle, ventricular cavity, and necrotic myocardium measured planimetrically from photographs of consecutive slices of heart are utilized to calculate total left ventricular mass and necrotic myocardial mass. Evaluation of the method in 22 fresh calf hearts with areas of simulated necrosis showed close correlation between actual weight and calculated total myocardial mass (r=0.97) and simulated necrotic mass (r=0.99). Similar correlation was found when the method was applied to the human heart in necropsies of eight patients (four of whom had had myocardial infarction clinically) and results were compared with weights obtained by dissection. In hearts from ten patients with myocardial infarction, necropsy measurements by these technics correlated well with maximum serum creatine phosphokinase elevations (r=0.86). This method provides accurate and efficient sizing of human myocardial infarction, and enables the observer to make quantitative clinicopathologic judgements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-392
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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