Two-dimensional echocardiographic valve measurements in healthy children: gender-specific differences

Pediatr Cardiol. Jul-Aug 2005;26(4):356-60. doi: 10.1007/s00246-004-0736-z.


The goal of this study was to create nomograms of echocardiographic two-dimensional valve dimensions based on a large group of children without heart disease. Children aged 0-18 years underwent standard echocardiographic evaluation. Referring diagnoses were chest pain, heart murmur, or syncope. Only patients with a structurally normal heart and normal systolic and diastolic function were included. All four valves were measured at their maximal dimensions. A total of 748 children (314 girls and 434 boys) met the inclusion criteria. Mean values and standard deviations were calculated, and z value nomograms based on body surface area were developed. Surprisingly, the boys had larger valve dimensions at all ages. These valve dimension differences were statistically significant for three of four valves even after adjustment for the differences in body sizes. The difference may be due to higher circulating blood volume in boys compared to that in girls. Because the differences are subtle, they reach statistical significance only when evaluated in a large group of subjects. Presented normal value data will be helpful in following cardiology patients and evaluating intervention strategy in patients with valve hypoplasia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Echocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart Valves / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors