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Cardiac orientation: is there a correlation between the anatomical and the electrical axis of the heart?

April 2015 Br J Cardiol 2015;22:(2) doi:10.5837/bjc.2015.016 Online First

Cardiac orientation: is there a correlation between the anatomical and the electrical axis of the heart?

Gnalini Sathananthan, Simmi Zahid, Gunjan Aggarwal, William Chik, Daniel Friedman, Aravinda Thiagalingam

Abstract

Introduction Due to the asymmetry of the heart, it has long been described in what is known as the ‘Valentine’ position, in which the heart is oriented vertically downwards. It defines the heart as a solitary organ and provides no reference point for its location within the chest. This description has since been found to be inaccurate, as we know the heart is positioned in a direction extending from the right shoulder to the left hypochondrium. The in vivo orientation of the heart takes into account its surrounding bony structures and is the best definition of true anatomical heart position.1,2 Figure 1. Pathway of cardiac electrical acti

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