OBJECTIVESThis study aimed to separate proposed mechanisms for segmental ischemic mitral regurgitation (MR), including left ventricular (LV) dysfunction versus geometric distortion by LV dilation, using models of acute and chronic segmental ischemic LV dysfunction evaluated by three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography.BACKGROUNDDysfunction and dilation—both mechanisms with practical therapeutic implications—are difficult to separate in patients.METHODSIn seven dogs with acute left circumflex (LCX) coronary ligation, LV expansion was initially restricted and then permitted to occur. In seven sheep with LCX branch ligation, LV expansion was also initially limited but became prominent with remodeling over eight weeks. Three-dimensional echo reconstruction quantified mitral apparatus geometry and MR volume.RESULTSIn the acute model, despite LV dysfunction with ejection fraction = 23 ± 8%, MR was initially trace with limited LV dilation, but it became moderate with subsequent prominent dilation. In the chronic model, MR was also initially trace, but it became moderate over eight weeks as the LV dilated and changed shape. In both models, the only independent predictor of MR volume was increased tethering distance from the papillary muscles (PMs) to the anterior annulus, especially medial and posterior shift of the ischemic medial PM, measured by 3D reconstruction (r2 = 0.75 and 0.86, respectively). Mitral regurgitation volume did not correlate with LV ejection fraction or dP/dt.CONCLUSIONSSegmental ischemic LV contractile dysfunction without dilation, even in the PM territory, fails to produce important MR. The development of MR relates strongly to changes in the 3D geometry of the mitral apparatus, with implications for approaches to restore a more favorable configuration.