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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Mar 20;39(6):1055-60.

Gender differences and normal left ventricular anatomy in an adult population free of hypertension. A cardiovascular magnetic resonance study of the Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort.

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  • 1Charles A. Dana Research Institute and the Harvard-Thorndike Laboratory of the Department of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



We sought to derive gender-specific cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) reference values for normative left ventricular (LV) anatomy and function in a healthy adult population of clinically relevant age.


Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging is increasingly applied in the clinical setting, but age-relevant, gender-specific normative values are currently unavailable.


A representative sample of 318 Framingham Heart Study (FHS) Offspring participants free of clinically overt cardiovascular disease underwent CMR examination to determine LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volume (EDV and ESV, respectively), mass, ejection fraction (EF) and linear dimensions (wall thickness, cavity length). Subjects with a clinical history of hypertension or those with a systolic blood pressure > or =140 mm Hg or diastolic pressure > or =90 mm Hg at any FHS cycle examination were excluded, leaving 142 subjects (63 men, 79 women; age 57 +/- 9 years).


All volumetric (EDV, ESV, mass) and unidimensional measures were significantly greater (p < 0.001) in men than in women and remained greater (p < 0.02) after adjustment for subject height. Volumetric measures were greater (p < 0.001) in men than in women after adjustment for body surface area (BSA), but there were increased linear dimensions in women after adjustment for BSA. In particular, end-diastolic dimension indexed to BSA was greater in women (p < 0.001) than in men. There were no gender differences in global LVEF (men = 0.69; women = 0.70).


Cardiovascular magnetic resonance measures of LV volumes, mass and linear dimensions differ significantly according to gender and body size. This study provides gender-specific normal CMR reference values, uniquely derived from a population-based sample of persons free of cardiovascular disease and clinical hypertension. These data may serve as a reference to identify LV pathology in the adult population.

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