Effect of left ventricular wall mass on Doppler filling patterns in the developing normal human heart

Kenji Harada, Akira Tsuda, Takahiro Shiota, Mary J. Rice, Masahiro Ishii, Robert W. McDonald, David J. Sahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To assess gestational age- and growth-related changes in left ventricular (LV) size, LV wall, and LV transmitral flow velocity patterns, 2- dimensional (2-D) and Doppler echocardiographic studies were performed in 89 normal fetuses aged 16 to 38 weeks. Serial studies were designed in 7 fetuses. Variables measured from 4-chamber views were chamber areas and myocardial wall areas. From these measurements, area shortening fraction and ratio of myocardial wall area to end-diastolic chamber area were calculated. LV end-diastolic chamber area and myocardial wall area increased exponentially with advancing gestational age (r = 0.88 and 0.90, respectively, p < 0.001). Area shortening fraction showed no significant changes with gestational age. Ratio of myocardial wall area to LV end- diastolic chamber area decreased gradually with increasing gestational age (r = -0.77, p < 0.001). With increasing gestational age, mitral peak velocities of early diastole increased (r = 0.82, p < 0.01) with little change in peak velocity during atrial contraction. Multiple regression analysis showed that age-related increases in peak velocity of early diastole were related to advancing gestational age and also to decreases in ratio of myocardial wall area to LV end-diastolic chamber area. Low peak filling velocities during early diastole in younger fetuses may be related partly to relative increase in LV wall mass. The gestational age-related decreases in LV wall mass may be one of the important mechanisms of gestational age-related alterations in diastolic properties, especially relaxation processes. (C) 2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-663
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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