Interaction between body size and cardiac workload: Influence on left ventricular mass during body growth and adulthood
Ventricular Function, Left
The development of the left ventricle parallels body growth. During infancy, the relation between body size and left ventricular (LV) mass is very close. With advancing age, variability of LV mass in relation to body size markedly increases. To test the hypothesis that the age-related increase in variability of LV mass is due to the progressive impact of hemodynamic stimuli on LV growth, quantitative M-mode echocardiograms were obtained in 766 normal-weight, normotensive individuals over a range of ages from 1 day to 85 years (330 female subjects, 373 subjects younger than 18 years). LV mass was linearly related to height2.7 (r2=.69). Prediction of values of LV mass by body size was more accurate at birth and progressively less precise with increasing age. Stroke work (stroke volume times systolic pressure) was closely related to LV mass (r2=.74). The explained variance of LV mass increased from 69% in the univariate regression with height2.7 to 82% in a multivariate model including height2.7, stroke work, and gender. In children and adolescents (younger than 18 years), height2.7 was the main determinant of LV mass, whereas during adulthood stroke work and gender were more important predictors of LV mass than height2.7. Thus (1) the influence of body growth on development of LV mass decreases after early infancy because of both the variability of hemodynamic load and the increasing effect of gender; (2) after adolescence, during adulthood, in normotensive, normal-weight individuals, the impact of hemodynamic load and male gender on LV mass is greater than the one of body size; and (3) an appreciable proportion of variability of LV mass remains unexplained with the studied models. This might be due to genotypic variations and/or measurement error.