Echocardiographic diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy.
Echocardiograms were obtained on 27 adults with electrocardiographic criteria of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) to determine how echocardiograms might best identify LVH. Both the left ventricular (LV) posterior wall thickness and interventricular septal thickness were found by echocardiography to be increased (greater than or equal to 12 mm) in only 13 of 27 patients (48%) with LVH. The LV was dilated (greater than or equal to 58 mm) in the absence of posterior wall thickening in 9 of 27 patients (33%). The LV mass, estimated from standardly measured dimensions, was increased (greater than 200 g) in 21 of 27 patients (78%) and when measurements were made by the Penn method, mas was increased in all patients. These observations indicate that the echocardiographic estimation of LV mass is a more sensitive indicator of LVH than LV posterior wall and septal thickness. Since LVH is defined as an increased mass of LV muscle, these observations are consistent with this fundamental definition of left ventricular hypertrophy.
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