Visualizing the complex 3D geometry of the perfusion border zone in isolated rabbit heart

Rebecca M. Smith, Adam J. Black, Saalini S. Velamakanni, Taner Akkin, Elena G. Tolkacheva

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Myocardial infarction, caused by a major blockage of a coronary artery, creates a border zone (BZ) between perfused and nonperfused tissue, which is believed to be the origin of fatal cardiac arrhythmias. We used a combination of optical clearing and polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography to visualize a three-dimensional organization of the BZ in isolated rabbit hearts (n = 5) at the microscopic level with a high spatial resolution. We found that the BZ has a complex three-dimensional structure with nonperfused areas penetrating into perfused tissue with finger-like projections. These "fingers" may play an important role in the initiation and maintenance of ventricular arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2713-2721
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number14
StatePublished - May 10 2012


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