Left Ventricular False Tendons are Associated With Left Ventricular Dilation and Impaired Systolic and Diastolic Function☆,☆☆

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Left ventricular false tendons (LVFTs) are chord-like structures that traverse the LV cavity and are generally considered to be benign. However, they have been associated with arrhythmias, LV hypertrophy and LV dilation in some small studies. We hypothesize that LVFTs are associated with LV structural and functional changes assessed by echocardiography.


We retrospectively evaluated echocardiographic and clinical parameters of 126 patients identified as having LVFTs within the past 2 years and compared them to 85 age-matched controls without LVFTs.


There were no significant differences in age (52 ± 18 versus 54 ± 18 years, P = 0.37), sex (55% versus 59% men, P = 0.49), race (36% versus 23% white, P = 0.07), systolic blood pressure (131 ± 22 versus 132 ± 23 mmHg, P = 0.76) or body mass index (BMI, 31 ± 8 versus 29 ± 10 kg/m2, P = 0.07) between controls and patients with LVFTs, respectively. Patients with LVFTs had more prevalent heart failure (43% versus 21%, P = 0.001). Patients with LVFTs had more LV dilation, were 2.5 times more likely to have moderate-to-severe mitral regurgitation, had more severe diastolic dysfunction and reduced LV systolic function (18% lower) compared with controls (all P < 0.05). After adjustment for covariates, basal and middle LVFT locations were associated with reduced LV systolic function (P < 0.01), and middle LVFTs were associated with LV dilation (P < 0.01).


Our findings suggest that LVFTs may not be benign variants, and basal and middle LVFTs may have more deleterious effects. Further prospective studies should be performed to determine their pathophysiological significance and whether they play a causal role in LV dysfunction.

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