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Sequential Segmental Analysis of the Crocodilian Heart

Cook, AC; Tran, V-H; Spicer, DE; Rob, JMH; Sridharan, S; Taylor, A; Anderson, RH; (2017) Sequential Segmental Analysis of the Crocodilian Heart. Journal of Anatomy , 231 (4) pp. 484-499. 10.1111/joa.12661. Green open access

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Abstract

Differences between hearts of crocodilians and those of mammals and birds are only partly understood because there is no standardised approach and terminology for describing cardiac structure. Whereas most reptiles have an undivided ventricle, crocodilians have a fully septated ventricle. Their hearts, therefore, are more readily comparable with the hearts of mammals and birds. Here, we describe the heart of a crocodile (Crocodylus noliticus). We use the versatile sequential segmental approach to analysis, juxtaposing several key views of the crocodilian heart to the comparable views of human hearts. In crocodiles, the atrial and ventricular septums are complete but, unlike in placental mammals, the atrial septum is without an oval fossa. The myocardial component of the crocodilian ventricular septum dominates, but the membranous septum likely makes up a greater proportion than in any mammal. In the crocodile, the aortic trunk takes its origin from the left ventricle and is not wedged between the atrioventricular junctions. Consequently, there is a common atrioventricular junction, albeit with separate right and left atrioventricular valvar orifices. As in mammals, nonetheless, the crocodilian left atrioventricular valvar orifice is cranial to the right atrioventricular valvar orifice. By applying a method of analysis and terminology usually restricted to the human heart, we build from the considerable existing literature to show neglected and overlooked shared features, such as the offset between the left and right atrioventricular valvar orifices. Such commonalities are surprising given the substantial evolutionary divergence of the archosaur and synapsid lineages, and likely reflect evolutionarily shared morphogenetic programmes.

Type: Article
Title: Sequential Segmental Analysis of the Crocodilian Heart
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/joa.12661
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.12661
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: arterial trunks, atrioventricular junction, crocodile, foramen of Panizza, heart development
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Childrens Cardiovascular Disease
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH - Laboratory Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058620
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