Aims: Recent advances in cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) include improved image quality with steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequences and advanced post-processing of high temporal resolution ventricular function. We used these techniques to establish the reference values for right ventricular (RV) volumes and function.
Methods and results: We studied 120 healthy subjects (60 men, 60 women; from 20 to 80 years) after exclusion of cardiovascular abnormality. Data were generated from SSFP cines, with three-dimensional modelling. Gender, body surface area (BSA), and age were independent predictors of several RV parameters. Normalized RV mass (RVM) and absolute and normalized RV volumes decreased significantly with age, whereas ejection fraction increased. For diastolic variables, absolute and normalized early peak filling rate (PFR(E)) decreased and absolute and normalized active peak filling rate (PFR(A)) in males increased, with decreased PFR(E)/PFR(A). Increasing BSA was associated with increased RVM, volumes, and PFR(E). Gender significantly influenced absolute and normalized mass and volumes, and absolute and normalized PFR(A).
Conclusion: These data using state-of-the-art CMR show that normal values of RV systolic and diastolic parameters vary significantly by gender, BSA, and age. Appropriate reference ranges normalized to all three variables should be used in the determination of normality or severity of abnormality of RV dimensions and function.