Gender, Age, and Body Surface Area are the Major Determinants of Ascending Aorta Dimensions in Subjects With Apparently Normal Echocardiograms

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Limited data have been published on the normal size of the ascending aorta (AA) measured using transthoracic echocardiography (TTE).


AA diameters were measured in 1799 patients with normal cardiac findings on TTE and compared with the diameters of the sinus of Valsalva (SoV).


Mean diameters in men and women, respectively, were 3.4 and 3.1 cm for the SoV and 3.2 and 3.0 cm for the AA. The sizes of the SoV and the AA showed strong correlations with age, age squared, and body surface area. The 5th and 95th percentile curves for the SoV and AA showed faster growth of diameters in early adulthood compared with old age. The dimensions of the SoV were larger than those of the AA (mean differences, 0.19 cm in men and 0.08 cm in women), and the difference between the SoV and AA was negatively correlated with age.


The findings of this study stress the importance of indexing dimensions of the SoV and the AA to age and body surface area separately for men and women.

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