Left ventricular radius to wall thickness ratio

  • William H. Gaasch
    Address for reprints: William H. Gaasch, MD, Cardiac Non-Invasive Laboratory, New England Medical Center Hospital, 171 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.
    From the Department of Medicine, Cardiology Section, Tufts university School of Medicine Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

    From the New England Medical Center Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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      Left ventricular relative wall thickness, expressed as the ratio of enddiastolic radius to wall thickness (R/Th ratio), has a constant relation with left ventricular systolic pressure in children and adults with a normal heart, subjects with physiologic forms of cardiac hypertrophy (athletes) and patients with compensated chronic left ventricular volume overload (chronic aortic regurgitation). Greatly increased values for the radius/ thickness ratio, suggesting inadequate hypertrophy, indicate a poor prognosis in patients with chronic aortic regurgitation and in those with congestive cardiomyopathy; decreased values for this ratio are found in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (inappropriate hypertrophy) and in patients with compensated aortic stenosis (appropriate hypertrophy). In patients with compensated aortic stenosis, echocardiographic measurement of the left ventricular end-diastolic radius/wall thickness ratio has been used to estimate left ventricular systolic pressure. Measurement of left ventricular relative wall thickness appears to provide diagnostic and prognostic data in patients with a broad variety of cardiac disorders.
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