Use of computed tomography and silicon endocasts to identify pulmonary veins with echocardiography

Brewer FC, Sydney Moise N, Kornreich BG, et al.

J Vet Cardiol 2012;14:293-300.

The pulmonary veins were identified from the silicone endocast heart models of 19 dogs. Although variation in the number of the more peripheral veins on each specimen existed, all of the casts had a consistency with regards to the most proximal coalescence of the pulmonary veins as they entered the body of the left atrium. That is, the confluence of the veins formed three ostia at the atrial entry point that consisted of 1) right cranial and right middle pulmonary lobe veins; 2) right caudal, accessory, and left caudal pulmonary lobe veins; and 3) both the left cranial and left caudal pulmonary lobe veins of the left cranial lung lobe. The location of these structures identified by the 3-dimensional endocasts were then used to assist in the identification of the pulmonary veins using computed tomography of 2 dogs. Slices were made that approximated those commonly performed during echocardiographic examination. Understanding which pulmonary veins are seen by echocardiography in the different imaging planes will permit prospective evaluations of pulmonary vein size and abnormal flow patterns.