A Gross Comparative Anatomical Study of Hearts in Human Cadavers and Pigs


  • Pt. Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, India
  • DMCH, Ludhiana, India
  • LPS Institute of Cardiology GSVM Medical College, Kanpur, India


The inadequate availability of human donor hearts and other organs has inspired interest in field of xenotransplantation. The prospect of transgenic pig providing compatible organs for human xenotransplantation is becoming more likely. We aim to compare cardiac anatomy of pig hearts with human cadaveric hearts. A comparative analysis of pig and human cardiac anatomy was made by gross examination and dissection of hearts. The mean value of various parameters along with standard deviation was calculated.and T-test was applied and p-value was calculated. The average weight of human heart was 266.5g whereas the average weight of pig heart was 302.8g. An average adult human heart was about 9.8cm (9.2cm-12cm) from base to apex, 8.6 cm (7.4cm-10.8cm) in its broadest transverse diameter and 7.1 cm (5cm-8.4cm) anteroposteriorly. An average pig heart was about 10.2 cm (8.5cm-11cm) from base to apex, 8.9 cm (6.5cm-11cm) in its broadest transverse diameter and 6.6 cm (5cm- 8cm) anteroposteriorly. The human heart was trapezoidal in shape. The pig heart, in contrast, was a broad cone shaped organ. In humans, the left atrium received the four pulmonary veins whereas in pig it received two pulmonary veins. In right atrium of man, orifices of superior and inferior caval veins were in a direct line whereas in pig veins opened at right angles to each other.

The present study suggests that the morphology of human and porcine heart is almost similar with significant anatomical differences between porcine and human hearts that might effect the success of the cardiac xenograft within the human recipient.


Cardiac Anatomy, Xenotransplantation, Xenograft.

Subject Discipline


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