American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology vol:301 issue:6 pages:H2351-H2361
Left-ventricular remodeling is considered to be an important mechanism of disease progression leading to mechanical dysfunction of the heart. However, the interaction between the physiological changes in the remodeling process and the associated mechanical dysfunction is still poorly understood. Clinically, it has been observed that the left-ventricle often undergoes large shape changes, but the importance of left-ventricular shape as a contributing factor to alterations in mechanical function has not been clearly determined. Therefore, the interaction between left-ventricular shape and systolic mechanical function was examined in a computational finite-element study. Hereto, finite-element models were constructed with varying shapes, ranging from an elongated ellipsoid to a sphere. A realistic transmural gradient in fiber orientation was considered. The passive myocardium was described by an incompressible hyperelastic material law with transverse isotropic symmetry. Activation was governed by the eikonal-diffusion equation. Contraction was incorporated using a Hill model. For each shape, simulations were performed in which passive filling was followed by isovolumic contraction and ejection. It was found that the intramyocardial distributions of fiber stress, strain and stroke work density were shape dependent. Ejection performance was reduced with increasing sphericity, which was regionally related to a reduction in
the active fiber stress development, fiber shortening and stroke work in the mid-wall and subepicardial region at the mid-height level in the left-ventricular wall. Based on these results, we conclude that a significant interaction exists between LV shape and regional myofiber mechanics, but the importance for LV remodeling requires further investigation.