Pediatric patients are becoming increasingly referred for cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Measurement of ventricular wall thickness is typically part of the assessment and can be of diagnostic importance, e.g. in arterial hypertension.
However, normal values for left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) wall thickness in pediatric patients are lacking. The aim of this study was to establish pediatric centile charts for segmental LV and RV myocardial thickness in a retrospective multicenter CMR study.
CMR was performed in 161 healthy children and adolescents with an age range between 6 and 18 years from two centers in the UK and Germany as well as from a previously published CMR project of the German Competence Network for Congenital Heart Defects. LV myocardial thickness of 16 segments was measured on the short axis stack using the American Heart Association segmentation model. In addition, the thickness of the RV inferior and anterior free wall as well as biventricular mass was measured.
The mean age (standard deviation) of the subjects was 13.6 (2.9) years, 64 (39.7%) were female. Myocardial thickness of the basal septum (basal antero- and inferoseptal wall) was 5.2 (1.1) mm, and the basal lateral wall (basal antero- and inferolateral) measured 5.1 (1.2) mm. Mid-ventricular septum (antero- and inferoseptal wall) measured 5.5 (1.2) mm, and mid-ventricular lateral wall (antero- and inferolateral wall) was 4.7 (1.2) mm. Separate centile charts for boys and girls for all myocardial segments and myocardial mass were created because gender was significantly correlated with LV myocardial thickness (p < 0.001 at basal level, p = 0.001 at midventricular level and p = 0.005 at the apex) and biventricular mass (LV, p < 0.001; RV, p < 0.001).
We established CMR normal values of segmental myocardial thickness and biventricular mass in children and adolescents. Our data are of use for the detection of abnormal myocardial properties and can serve as a reference in future studies and clinical practice.