Normative Left Ventricular M-Mode Echocardiographic Values in Preterm Infants up to 2 kg

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Abstract

Background:

There is a paucity of normative echocardiographic data in preterm infants. The objectives of this study were to (1) derive left ventricular (LV) M-mode reference values and (2) compare the performance of alternative methods of indexing LV dimensions and LV mass (LVM) in preterm infants. The authors propose that indexing LV measures to weight in preterm infants is a practical approach given the variability associated with tape-measure length measurement in infants.

Methods:

In this retrospective study, LV M-mode echocardiographic measurements of end-diastolic interventricular septal thickness, end-diastolic LV posterior wall thickness, LV end-diastolic and end-systolic dimensions, LVM, and relative wall thickness were remeasured in 503 hospitalized preterm infants ≤2 kg (372 from a retrospective sample and 131 prospectively enrolled). Measures for all variables did not differ between retrospective and prospective samples, so results were pooled. LV dimensions and LVM indexed for weight, length, and body surface area sex-specific centile curves and corresponding Z scores were generated using Cole's lambda-mu-sigma method. Threshold limits (10th and 80th percentiles) were used to generate the normative range for relative wall thickness.

Results:

Sex-specific centile curves using LVM, end-diastolic interventricular septal thickness, end-diastolic LV posterior wall thickness, LV end-diastolic dimension, and LV end-systolic dimension indexed to weight were similar to the curves generated using length and body surface area. The mean normal range for relative wall thickness was 0.33 (10th percentile, 0.26; 80th percentile, 0.38).

Conclusions:

From this large cohort of preterm infants, LV M-mode dimension and LVM centile curves indexed to weight were developed as a practical method to assess LV morphology in preterm infants.

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