Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIMS: Statistical shape models (SSMs) of cardiac anatomy provide a new approach for analysis of cardiac anatomy. In adults, specific cardiac morphologies associate with cardiovascular risk factors and early disease stages. However, the relationships between morphology and risk factors in children remain unknown. We propose an SSM of the paediatric left ventricle to describe its morphological variability, examine its relationship with biometric parameters and identify adverse anatomical remodelling associated with obesity. METHODS AND RESULTS: This cohort includes 2631 children (age 10.2 ± 0.6 years), mostly Western European (68.3%) with a balanced sex distribution (51.3% girls) from Generation R study. Cardiac magnetic resonance short-axis cine scans were segmented. Three-dimensional left ventricular (LV) meshes are automatically fitted to the segmentations to reconstruct the anatomies. We analyse the relationships between the LV anatomical features and participants' body surface area (BSA), age, and sex, and search for features uniquely related to obesity based on body mass index (BMI). In the SSM, 19 modes described over 90% of the population's LV shape variability. Main modes of variation were related to cardiac size, sphericity, and apical tilting. BSA, age, and sex were mostly correlated with modes describing LV size and sphericity. The modes correlated uniquely with BMI suggested that obese children present with septo-lateral tilting (R2 = 4.0%), compression in the antero-posterior direction (R2 = 3.3%), and decreased eccentricity (R2 = 2.0%). CONCLUSIONS: We describe the variability of the paediatric heart morphology and identify anatomical features related to childhood obesity that could aid in risk stratification. Web service is released to provide access to the new shape parameters.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging

Publication Date



epidemiology, magnetic resonance imaging, obesity, paediatrics, risk factors