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Circulation. 2008 May 27;117(21):2769-75. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.741157. Epub 2008 May 19.

A novel method of expressing left ventricular mass relative to body size in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Montreal Children's Hospital, Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3H 1P3, Canada.



Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH) in children is widely defined as a left ventricular mass index (LVMI, g/m(2.7)) >95th percentile. However, LVMI increases with decreasing height in young children; thus, the 95th percentile LVMI will depend on the height distribution of the reference population. The objective of this study was to compare the performance of a novel method of expressing LV mass relative to body size (centile curves) with the LVMI method.


LV mass was estimated by M-mode echocardiography in 440 healthy nonobese reference children (birth to 21 years) and 239 children at risk for LVH; the LVMI was calculated for all children. Three samples of 270 children, each with different height distributions, were drawn from the reference population. A sample-specific 95th percentile LVMI was determined for each reference sample. At-risk children were classified as having LVH or not based on each sample-specific 95th percentile. Four LV mass-for-height centile curves were constructed with the Cole lambda-mu-sigma method and data from each reference sample. At-risk children were each assigned an LV mass-for-height percentile with these curves and were reclassified as having LVH if LV mass-for-height was >95th percentile. The centile method provided a stable estimate of the proportion of at-risk children with LVH regardless of reference group, whereas proportion estimates varied significantly depending on the reference population when the LVMI method was used.


LV mass-for-height centile curves are superior to LVMI as a method of normalizing LV mass to body size in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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