Background: Chordae tendineae are the fibrocollagenous strings supporting the cusps of the mitral valve. For the efficient functioning of the left ventricle after valve replacement surgery and to avoid the mitral valve prolapse preservance of chordae tendinae is significant. This necessitates the clear understanding of morphology of chordae tendineae. Materials and methods: The present study was done on 98 embalmed human heart specimens. The detailed morphology of chordae tendineae of the mitral valve according to number at its origin and insertion, pattern of branching, thickness and level of attachment to the cusps of mitral valve was studied. Results: Higher number of chordae tendinae arises from apex of anteriorpapillary muscle:range 6- 21 andthat from posterior papillary muscle: range 3-22.Range of chordae attached to the aortic cusp and mural cusp of the mitral valve was 28- 91 and 33- 84 respectively. Basal zone chordae was present in mural cusp and the chordae attached to clear zone of aortic cusp was present in two specimens. Fan type branching was most common (97%),bifurcating type in 95%, dichotomous in 85% while anastamosis between two chordae tendinae was present in 52% of the specimen.Almost all the specimens with branched chordae in an individual heart had one, two or three tier branching at its insertion. Chordae muscularis was found in six while matted bundle of chordae tendineae was seen in one specimen. Conclusions: The present study helps in description and variation of morphology of chordae tendineae so as to improve mitral valve surgeries.
Key words: Chordae tendineae, chordae, cusps, mitral valve, morphology.