Objectives: Contractile function in the normally perfused infarct borderzone (BZ) is depressed. However, the impact of reduced BZ contractility on left ventricular (LV) pump function is unknown. As a consequence, there have been no therapies specifically designed to improve BZ contractility. We tested the hypothesis that an improvement in borderzone contractility will improve LV pump function. Methods: From a previously reported study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images with non-invasive tags were used to calculate 3D myocardial strain in five sheep 16weeks after anteroapical myocardial infarction. Animal-specific finite element (FE) models were created using MRI data and LV pressure obtained at early diastolic filling. Analysis of borderzone function using those FE models has been previously reported. Chamber stiffness, pump function (Starling’s law) and stress in the fiber, cross fiber, and circumferential directions were calculated. Animal-specific FE models were performed for three cases: (a) impaired BZ contractility (INJURED); (b) BZ-contractility fully restored (100% BZ IMPROVEMENT); or (c) BZ-contractility partially restored (50% BZ IMPROVEMENT). Results: 100% BZ IMPROVEMENT and 50% BZ IMPROVEMENT both caused an upward shift in the Starling relationship, resulting in a large (36 and 26%) increase in stroke volume at LVPED=20mmHg (8.0ml, p<0.001). Moreover, there were a leftward shift in the end-systolic pressure volume relationship, resulting in a 7 and 5% increase in LVPES at 110mmHg (7.7ml, p<0.005). It showed that even 50% BZ IMPROVEMENT was sufficient to drive much of the calculated increase in function. Conclusion: Improved borderzone contractility has a beneficial effect on LV pump function. Partial improvement of borderzone contractility was sufficient to drive much of the calculated increase in function. Therapies specifically designed to improve borderzone contractility should be developed.
Keywords: myocardial Infarction, borderzone, finite element