Echocardiographic nomograms for chamber diameters and areas in Caucasian children

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2014 Dec;27(12):1279-92.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2014.08.005. Epub 2014 Sep 17.


Background: Although a quantitative evaluation of cardiac chamber dimensions in pediatric echocardiography is often important, nomograms for these structures are limited. The aim of this study was to establish reliable echocardiographic nomograms of cardiac chamber diameters and areas in a wide population of children.

Methods: A total of 1,091 Caucasian Italian healthy children (age range, 0 days to 17 years; 44.8% female) with body surface areas (BSAs) ranging from 0.12 to 1.8 m(2) were prospectively enrolled. Twenty-two two-dimensional and M-mode measurements of atrial and ventricular chamber diameters and areas were performed. Models using linear, logarithmic, exponential, and square-root relationships were tested. Heteroscedasticity was tested by the White test and the Breusch-Pagan test. Age, weight, height, and BSA, calculated by the Haycock formula, were used as the independent variables in different analyses to predict the mean value of each echocardiographic measurement. The influence of various confounders, including gender, type of delivery, prematurity, and interobserver variability, was also evaluated. Structured Z scores were then computed.

Results: The Haycock formula provided the best fit and was used when presenting data as predicted values (mean ± 2 SDs) for a given BSA and within equations relating echocardiographic measurements to BSA. Confounders were not included in the final models, because they did not show significant effects for most of the measurements.

Conclusions: Echocardiographic reference values are presented for chamber area and diameters, derived from a large population of healthy children. These data partly cover a gap in actual pediatric echocardiographic nomograms. Further studies are required to reinforce these data, as well as to evaluate other parameters and ethnicities.

Keywords: Children; Echocardiography; Nomograms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Atrial Function / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computer Graphics*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Echocardiography / standards
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Italy / ethnology
  • Male
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Statistical
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ventricular Function / physiology*