Background: Myocardial ischemia in the anterior wall of the left ventricule (LV) and in the inferior wall and/or right ventricle (RV) shows different manifestations that can be explained by the different innervations of cardiac afferent nerves. However, it remains unclear whether information from different areas of the heart, such as the LV and RV, are differently processed in the brain. In this study, we investigated the brain regions that process information from the LV or RV using cardiac electrical stimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in anesthetized rats because the combination of these two approaches cannot be used in humans. Methodology/Principal Findings: An electrical stimulation catheter was inserted into the LV or RV (n = 12 each). Brain fMRI scans were recorded during LV or RV stimulation (9 Hz and 0.3 ms width) over 10 blocks consisting of alternating periods of 2 mA for 30 sec followed by 0.2 mA for 60 sec. The validity of fMRI signals was confirmed by first and second-level analyses and temporal profiles. Increases in fMRI signals were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex and the right somatosensory cortex under LV stimulation. In contrast, RV stimulation activated the right somatosensory cortex, which was identified more anteriorly compared with LV stimulation but did not activate the anterior cingulate cortex. Conclusion/Significance: This study provides the first evidence for differences in brain activation under LV and RV stimulation. These different brain processes may be associated with different clinical manifestations between anterior wall and inferoposterior wall and/or RV myocardial ischemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)