Indexed on: 13 Feb '21Published on: 13 Feb '21Published in: Scientific Reports
Right ventricular (RV) remodeling and longitudinal fiber reorientation in the setting of pulmonary hypertension (PH) affects ventricular structure and function, eventually leading to RV failure. Characterizing the kinematics of myocardial fibers helps better understanding the underlying mechanisms of fiber realignment in PH. In the current work, high-frequency ultrasound imaging and structurally-informed finite element (FE) models were employed for an exploratory evaluation of the stretch-induced kinematics of RV fibers. Image-based experimental evaluation of fiber kinematics in porcine myocardium revealed the capability of affine assumptions to effectively approximate myofiber realignment in the RV free wall. The developed imaging framework provides a noninvasive modality to quantify transmural RV myofiber kinematics in large animal models. FE modeling results demonstrated that chronic pressure overload, but not solely an acute rise in pressures, results in kinematic shift of RV fibers towards the longitudinal direction. Additionally, FE simulations suggest a potential protective role for concentric hypertrophy (increased wall thickness) against fiber reorientation, while eccentric hypertrophy (RV dilation) resulted in longitudinal fiber realignment. Our study improves the current understanding of the role of different remodeling events involved in transmural myofiber reorientation in PH. Future experimentations are warranted to test the model-generated hypotheses.