Assessment of cardiac anatomy and function by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is accurate and reproducible and is commonly performed to clarify borderline results obtained by other techniques. Normal reference values are lacking in a large sample of young healthy adults. As CMR is increasingly solicited to discriminate normality from equivocal disease in this population, we sought to determine reliable reference values.Methods and results
A sample of 434 Caucasian adults aged 26 ± 4 years (45% male) without cardiovascular disease or risk factors (including obesity and smoking) underwent CMR. Blood pressure, electrocardiogram, and plasma markers (lipid profile, fasting glucose, troponin, and Nt-pro-BNP) were within normal limits and typical of a low-cardiometabolic-risk profile. End-diastolic (ED), end-systolic (ES), and stroke volumes were greater in men for left and right atria and ventricles. Left ventricular (LV) mass was higher in men. ED wall thickness of all segments was greater in men, whereas ES wall thickening (segmental function) was similar in both genders. After normalization to body surface area, all gender differences remained. Left and right ventricular volumes were lower, and left atrial volumes were higher in older individuals. In contrast, LV mass was not associated with age.Conclusion
This is the first large database of reference ranges for ventricular and atrial functions, volumes, and mass in young Caucasian men and women devoid of cardiovascular disease and risk factors. These data will contribute to improving the accuracy of CMR interpretation for clinical and research applications.