Echocardiography and Histology Evaluation of the Heart in the Immature (2.5 Years old) Beluga


1 Department of Basic science, faculty of veterinary medicine, university of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Surgery and Radiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


BACKGROUND: Beluga (Huso huso) is one of the sturgeons and currently is cultured artificially in Iran with different goals. The cardiovascular system is one of the important systems of the body, and heart is the most important organ in this system. So far, few studies have been done on the heart of sturgeons.
OBJECTIVES: This study was done to determine the exact structure of beluga different parts of the heart septum using echocardiographic and histologic techniques.
METHODS: Six immature male belugas (2.5 years old) were investigated in this study. For echocardiography, probe was placed on the ventral surface of body, between pectoral fins. At first, macroscopic morphologic studies of different parts of heart were done at the topographic place of them. For histological studies, usual methods of fixation and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) coloring were used. Prepared slides were studied by light microscope.
RESULTS: All parts of the heart including the sinus venosus, atrium, ventricle, conus arteriosus and pericardium were clearly visible in different probe moves. The pericardium were covered surround heart`s structures having homogenous echo pattern. Sinus venosus had a very thin septum without any expansion and contraction. Atrium had a completed muscular septum with expansion and contraction. Ventricle muscular septum had two layers: an external compact layer and an internal spongy layer. Conus arteriosus was composed of obvious muscular septum and connective tissue. Histological studies showed three layers in beluga heart including epicardium, myocardium and endocardium. In overall, the histological findings were matched with the results of echocardiography.
CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first investigation on echocardiographic feature of different parts of beluga heart. These results were coordinated with histological findings. Normal information and findings of this study can be used for investigation of various anatomic or pathologic changes in beluga heart in different research projects.


Farrell, A.P., Jones, D.R. (1992) Fish physiology, The cardiovascular system, Academic Press. p. 1- 7.
Farrell, A.P. (2007) Cardiovascular Systems in Primitive Fishes. Fish Physiology. 26: 53-120.##
Genten, F., Terwinghe, E., Danguy, A. (2009) Atlas of fish histology. Science Publishers, USA. p. 47-52.##
Gregory, J. A., Graham, J. B., Cech, Jr., Dalton, N., Michaels, J., Lai, N. C. (2004) Pericardial and pericardioperitoneal canal relationships to cardiac function in the white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A. 138: 203- 213. ##
HU, N., Yost H. J., Clark, E.B. (2001) Cardiac Morphology and Blood Pressure in the Adult Zebrafish, The Anatomical Record. 264: 1-12. ##
Icardo, J. M., Colvee, E., Cerra, M. C., Tota, B. (2002) The Structure of the Conus Arteriosus of the Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii) Heart: II. The Myocardium, the Subepicardium, and the Conus-Aorta Transition. The Anatomical Record. 268: 388-398. ##
Icardo, J. M., Colvee, E., Cerra, M. C., Cerra, M. C., Tota, B. (2002) The Structure of the Structure of the Conus Arteriosus of the Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii) Heart. I: The Conus Valves and the Subendocardium, The Anatomical Record. 267: 17-27. ##
Icardo, J.M., (2006) Conus Arteriosus of the Teleost Heart: Dismissed, But Not Missed,  The Anatomical Record, Part A. 288A: 900-908. ##
Icardo, J.M., Guerrero, A., Duran, A.C., Colvee, E., Domezain, A., Sans-Coma, V. (2009) The Developmental Anatomy of the Heart of the Sturgeon Acipenser naccarii. Biology, Springer Science. p.137-152. ##
Lai, N. C., Dalton, N., Lai, Y. Y., Kwong, C., Rasmussen R., Holts, D., B., Graham J. (2004) A comparative echocardiographic assessment of ventricular function in five species of sharks, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A. 137: 505-521. ##
Lei, S., Lien, C., Xu, X., Shung, K. K. (2008) In vivo cardiac imaging of adult zebrafish using high frequency ultrasound (45-75 MHz), Ultrasound in Med. & Biol. 34: 31-39.##
Moghim, M., Vajhi, A.R., Veshkini, A., Masoudifard, M. (2002) Determination of sex and maturity in Acipenser stellatus by using ultrasonography. J Appl Ichthyol. 18: 325-328. ##
Muñoz-Chápuli, R., PérezPomares, J.M., Macías, D., GarcíaGarrido, L., Carmona, R., GonzálezIriarte, M. (2001) The epicardium as a source of mesenchyme for the developing heart, Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology. 106: 187-96.##
Munoz-Chapuli, R., Gallego, A., Perez-Pomares, J.M. (1997) A reactiondiffusion model can account for the anatomical pattern of the cardiac conal valves in fish, J Theor Biol. 185: 233-240.##
Sans-Coma, V., Gallego, A., Mun˜oz-Chapuli, R., DeAndres, M.V., Duran, A.C., Ferna´ndez, B. (1995) Anatomy and histology of the cardiac conal valves of the adult dogfish (Scyliorhinus canıcula). Anat Rec. 241: 496-504.##
Vajhi, A.R., Masoudifard, M., Moghim, M., Veshkini, A., Zehtabvar, O. (2011) Ultrasonography of the sturgeons for sex and maturity determination, University of Tehran press. p. 39-58.##