European Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1590–1596 | Cite as

Simple area-based measurement for multidetector computed tomography to predict left ventricular size

  • Christopher L. Schlett
  • Dylan C. Kwait
  • Amir A. Mahabadi
  • Fabian Bamberg
  • Christopher J. O’Donnell
  • Caroline S. Fox
  • Udo HoffmannEmail author



Measures of left ventricular (LV) mass and dimensions are independent predictors of morbidity and mortality. We determined whether an axial area-based method by computed tomography (CT) provides an accurate estimate of LV mass and volume.


A total of 45 subjects (49% female, 56.0 ± 12 years) with a wide range of LV geometry underwent contrast-enhanced 64-slice CT. LV mass and volume were derived from 3D data. 2D images were analysed to determine LV area, the direct transverse cardiac diameter (dTCD) and the cardiothoracic ratio (CTR). Furthermore, feasibility was confirmed in 100 Framingham Offspring Cohort subjects.


2D measures of LV area, dTCD and CTR were 47.3 ± 8 cm2, 14.7 ± 1.5 cm and 0.54 ± 0.05, respectively. 3D-derived LV volume (end-diastolic) and mass were 148.9 ± 45 cm3 and 124.2 ± 34 g, respectively. Excellent inter- and intra-observer agreement were shown for 2D LV area measurements (both intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) = 0.99, p < 0.0001) and could be confirmed on non-contrast CT. The measured 2D LV area was highly correlated to LV volume, mass and size (r = 0.68; r = 0.73; r = 0.82; all p < 0.0001, respectively). On the other hand, CTR was not correlated to LV volume, mass, size or 2D LV area (all p > 0.27).


Compared with traditionally used CTR, LV size can be accurately predicted based on a simple and highly reproducible axial LV area-based measurement.


Multidetector computed tomography Left ventricle Left ventricular size Cardio-thoracic ratio Direct transverse cardiac diameter Framingham Heart Study 



This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study (N01-HC-25195), National Institute of Health (NIH, R01 HL080053), and in part by Siemens Medical Solutions. Christopher Schlett was supported by grants from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and Foundation of German Business, Berlin.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher L. Schlett
    • 1
  • Dylan C. Kwait
    • 1
  • Amir A. Mahabadi
    • 1
  • Fabian Bamberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher J. O’Donnell
    • 3
  • Caroline S. Fox
    • 3
    • 4
  • Udo Hoffmann
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Cardiac MR PET CT ProgramMassachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Clinical RadiologyUniversity Hospitals Munich, and Ludwig Maximilians UniversityMunichGermany
  3. 3.National HeartLung and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart StudyFraminghamUSA
  4. 4.Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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