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Original research article
Importance of length and external diameter in left ventricular geometry. Normal values from the HUNT Study
  1. Asbjørn Støylen1,2,
  2. Harald E Mølmen3,4 and
  3. Håvard Dalen1,2,5
  1. 1Department of Medical Imaging and Circulation, Faculty of medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, St. Olav's University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
  3. 3Division of Medicine, Department of Endocrinology, Morbid Obesity Centre, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway
  4. 4Asgardstrand General Practice, Horten, Norway
  5. 5Department of Medicine, Levanger Hospital, Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust, Levanger, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Professor Asbjørn Støylen; asbjorn.stoylen{at}


Background We aimed to study left ventricular (LV) geometry assessed by length (LVWL), external diameter (LVEDD) and relative wall thickness (RWT) in relation to age, body size and gender in healthy individuals.

Methods 1266 individuals underwent echocardiography in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT3), Norway. Septum thickness (IVS), posterior wall thickness (LVPWd) and end-diastolic internal diameter (LVIDD) were measured in M-mode, and LVEDD was calculated as the sum. Myocardial wall lengths were measured in a straight line from apex to the mitral ring in apical views at end diastole and averaged to LVWL. RWT ([IVSd+LVPWd]/LVIDD) and the ratio between length and diameter (L/D) were calculated.

Results Normal age-related and gender-related values are provided. Conventional measures conform to previous studies. All measures correlated with body surface area (BSA) (r 0.29–0.60), and BSA indexed values were higher in women. Wall thickness (WT) and LVEDD, but not LVIDD, were higher with higher age. LVWL and L/D were lower with increasing age, but L/D was independent of BSA and similar in women and men (1.41 vs 1.40). RWT correlated with BSA and age (r 0.17 and 0.34).

Conclusions LV WT increases and LVWL decreases with higher age. Excluding length in LV mass calculations increasingly overestimates mass with ageing. L/D is a BSA independent measure of LV age-related geometry and may be useful as a body size independent measure in LV hypertrophy. RWT depends on body size and age, and a single cut-off value is not warranted.


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