Efferent sympathetic and vagal innervation of the canine right ventricle

Makoto Ito, Douglas P. Zipes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Background: The functional pathways of efferent sympathetic and vagal innervation to the right ventricle (RV) might be important in a variety of disease states that involve the RV wall. The purpose of this study was to investigate those pathways. Methods and Results: We determined the effects of phenol and endocardial radiofrequency ablation applied to the RV anterolateral wall and outflow tract on effective refractory period (ERP) shortening during bilateral ansae subclaviae stimulation and ERP lengthening during bilateral vagal stimulation. We found that efferent sympathetic axons to the RV are located in the superficial subepicardium and that lateral sites receive sympathetic innervation predominantly from the lateral margin of the RV near the AV groove. Medial sites close to the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) receive sympathetic innervation from both the right lateral atrioventricular (AV) groove and regions near the LAD. At the RV outflow tract, some sympathetic fibers are located intramurally. Efferent vagal fibers are located at the RV surface within 10 mm of the right lateral AV groove; they penetrate intramurally and reach to the medial sites of the RV anterior wall. Other vagal fibers originate near the LAD and are intramural. Vagal fibers to the RV outflow tract are located intramurally either from the lateral side (close to the right coronary artery) or medial side (close to the LAD). Conclusions: Efferent vagal and sympathetic innervation of the right ventricle resembles that of the left ventricle. A major difference is that efferent sympathetic fibers to the right ventricular outflow tract are located not only in the subepicardium but in the subendocardium as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1459-1468
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • innervation
  • nervous system
  • ventricles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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