Select Page

Anatomy of the heart and great vessels

A.  Normal morphology and structure
1. Embryology
2. Fetal circulation
3. Normal cardiac and peri-cardiac structures to include
a) Eustachian valve
b) Thebesian valve/coronary sinus
c) Right and left atrial appendages
d) Moderator band
  • Anatomical observations of the moderator band (Abstract)
    Marios Loukas, Zachary Klaassen, R. Shane Tubbs, Trevor Derderian, Dan Paling, Drin Chow, Shilpa Patel, Robert H. Anderson
    Clinical Anatomy Volume 23, Issue 4, pages 443–450, May 2010  DOI: 10.1002/ca.20968
e) Endocardial cushion
f) Atrioventricular valves (tricuspid and mitral)
g) Sinuses of Valsalva
h) Coronary arteries and major branches
i) Coronary veins including coronary sinus
j) Superior vena cava and deep mediastinal veins (e.g. azygous vein)
k) Pericardium
  • Imaging of the Pericardium 
    Breen, Jerome F. M.D 
    Journal of Thoracic Imaging: January 2001 – Volume 16 – Issue 1 – pp 47-54
l) Pulmonary arteries
m) Pulmonary veins
4. Common variants
a) Anomalous coronary artery
b) Left superior vena cava
c) Azygous continuation of the IVC
B. Segmental anatomy of the heart
1. Atrial situs
  2. Ventricular loop
3. Identification of great vessels
4. Assess pulmonary arteries and veins
5. Identify systemic venous return
C. Normal adult heart measurements
1. Left ventricular wall thickness, diameter, fractional shortening, end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume indexes

a) Left atrium size

b) Right ventricular wall thickness and size

c) Right atrial size



d) Diameter of the thoracic aorta