European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 19 - Number 4
Eur J Anat, 19 (4): 387-389 (2015)

Anatomical variation of pulmonary veins opening into the left atrium: a case report

Chanelle K. Shamoun, Julie Amaon, Srikanteswara Viswanath, Vasavi R

Department of Anatomy, American University of Antigua, Coolidge, Antigua, WI, USA

ABSTRACT During a routine cadaveric dissection of the heart, an anomaly was noted while removing the pulmonary veins from the hilum of the lungs. There was a singular pulmonary vein found on the left side draining into the left atrium and three pulmonary veins, a superior, middle, and inferior, on the right side draining into the left atrium. This was confirmed by examination of the hilum of the lungs. Understanding the formation, termination, and relationships of the pulmonary veins is crucial for cardiologists, because they tend to be the major trigger in atrial fibrillation (Tsao et al., 2001). The anatomical variations in pulmonary veins also have the capability of producing associated ectopic beats, leading to the formation of, and possibly a higher incidence of, cardiac arrhythmias, most commonly, atrial fibrillation (Marom et al., 2004). The anomaly could therefore be identified as an isolated source for a patient presenting with such arrhythmia. An indication of treatment for arrhythmias is cardiac ablation therapy (Thorning et al., 2010). Knowledge of any anatomical variants would be essential to successful treatment.

Keywords: Pulmonary vein, Pulmonary vein anomaly, Atrial fibrillation, Cardiac ablation

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)