Influence of coronary architecture on the variability in myocardial infarction induced by coronary ligation in rats

Satoshi Kainuma, Shigeru Miyagawa, Satsuki Fukushima, Hirotsugu Tsuchimochi, Takashi Sonobe, Yutaka Fujii, James T. Pearson, Atsuhiro Saito, Akima Harada, Koichi Toda, Mikiyasu Shirai, Yoshiki Sawa

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It has been shown that the size of myocardial infarction in rats created by coronary ligation technique is not uniform, varying from 4% to 65%. We hypothesized that infarct size variability induced by coronary artery ligation might be caused by coronary artery branching pattern. Coronary artery angiography was performed in 50 normal Lewis rats and in chronic myocardial infarction models in which coronary artery was ligated immediately below the left atrial appendage or 2mm distal to the left atrial appendage (n = 25 for each), followed by histological analysis. Unlike the human, the rats had a single major septal artery arising from the proximal part of the left coronary artery (n = 30) or right coronary artery (n = 20). There were three branching patterns of left circumflex artery (LCX): 33 (66%) had LCX branching peripherally from a long left main coronary artery (LMCA), while the remainder 17 (34%) had the LCX branching from the proximal part of the septal artery or a short LMCA. The rats with distal coronary ligation presented myocardial infarction localized to an anterior territory irrespective of LCX branching pattern. In the rats with proximal coronary ligation, 64% (n = 16) had broad myocardial infarction involving the anterior and lateral territories, while the remainder (36%, n = 9) had myocardial infarction localized to an anterior territory with the intact LCX arising proximally from a short LMCA. The interventricular septum was spared from infarction in all rats because of its anatomical location. Infarct size variations were caused not only by ligation site but also by varying LCX branching patterns. There are potential risks to create different sizes of myocardial infarction, particularly when targeting a broad range of myocardial infarction. The territory of the septal artery always appears to be spared from myocardial infarction induced by the coronary ligation technique.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0183323
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2017


  • coronary arteries
  • myocardial infarction
  • rats
  • papillary muscles
  • angiography
  • histology
  • infarction
  • animal anatomy

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