The Prevalence of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Obese Children Varies Depending on the Method Utilized to Determine Left Ventricular Mass

Joseph Mahgerefteh, Jarrett Linder, Ellen J. Silver, Penelope Hazin, Scott Ceresnak, Daphne T. Hsu, Leo Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Obesity and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) have been identified as independent risk factors for cardiovascular events. The definition of LVH depends on the geometric algorithm used to calculate LV mass (LVM) by echocardiography and the method used to normalize LVM for body size. This study evaluates the effect of these methods on the prevalence of LVH in obese children. LVM for 109 obese and 109 age-matched non-obese children was calculated using M-mode or two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE). LVM was then normalized to height 2.7 as indexed LVM (LVMI), to body surface area (BSA), height, and lean body mass (LBM) as LVM Z-scores. LVH was defined as LVMI >95th ‰ using age-specific normal reference values or LVM Z-scores ≥2. The prevalence of LVH by LVMI and LVM Z-scores was compared. There was a correlation between LVM determined by M-mode and by 2DE (R2 = 0.91), although M-mode LVM was greater than 2DE LVM. However, the difference between these values was greater in obese children than in non-obese children. Based on the method of normalization, the prevalence of LVH among obese children was 64 % using LVMI, 15 % using LVM Z-scores for height, 8 % using LVM Z-scores for BSA and 1 % using LVM Z-scores for LBM. Height-based normalization correlates with obesity and hypertension. The methods used to measure and normalize LVM have a profound influence on the diagnosis of LVH in obese children. Further study is needed to determine which method identifies children at risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 31 2016



  • Left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Left ventricular mass
  • Obesity
  • Pediatric echocardiogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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