Abstract

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.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (6)

» Media 1: AVI (50845 KB)     
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