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Characterization of local and global contractile activities in the myocardium is essential for a better understanding of cardiac form and function. The spatial distribution of regions that contribute the most to cardiac function plays an important role in defining the pumping parameters of the myocardium like ejection fraction and dynamic aspects such as twisting and untwisting. In general, myocardium shortening, tangent to the wall, and ventricular wall thickening are important parameters that characterize the regional contribution within the myocardium to the global function of the heart. We have calculated these parameters using myocardium displacement fields, which were captured through the displacement-encoding with stimulated echoes (DENSE) MRI technique in three volunteers. High spatial resolution of the acquired data revealed transmural changes of thickening and tangential shortening with high fidelity in beating hearts. By filtering myocardium regions that showed a tangential shortening index of <0.23, we were able to identify the complete or a portion of a macrostructure composed of connected regions in the form of a helical bundle within the left ventricle mass. In this study, we present a representative case that shows the complete morphology of a helical myocardial band as well as two other cases that present ascending and descending portions of the helical myocardial band. Our observation of a helical functional band based on dynamics is in agreement with diffusion tensor MRI observations and gross dissection studies in the arrested heart.
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