Review Article

Adult echocardiographic nomograms: overview, critical review and creation of a software for automatic, fast and easy calculation of normal values

Massimiliano Cantinotti, Raffaele Giordano, Marco Paterni, Daniel Saura, Marco Scalese, Eliana Franchi, Nadia Assanta, Martin Koestenberg, Raluca Dulgheru, Tadafumi Sugimoto, Anne Bernard, Luis Caballero, Patrizio Lancellotti


There is a crescent interest on normal adult echocardiographic values and the introduction of new deformation imaging and 3D parameters pose the issue of normative data. A multitude of nomograms has been recently published, however data are often fragmentary, difficult to find, and their strengths/limitations have been never evaluated. Aims: (I) to provide a review of current echocardiographic nomograms; (II) to generate a tool for easy and fast access to these data. A literature search was conducted accessing the National Library of Medicine using the keywords: 2D/3D echocardiography, strain, left/right ventricle, atrial, mitral/tricuspid valve, aorta, reference values/nomograms/normal values. Adding the following keywords, the results were further refined: range/intervals, myocardial velocity, strain rate and speckle tracking. Forty one published studies were included. Our study reveals that for several of 2D/3D parameters sufficient normative data exist, however, a few limitations still persist. For some basic parameters (i.e., mitral/tricuspid/pulmonary valves, great vessels) and for 3D valves data are scarce. There is a lack of studies evaluating ethnic differences. Data have been generally expressed as mean values normalised for gender and age instead of computing models incorporating different variables (age/gender/body sizes) to calculate z scores. To summarize results a software (Echocardio-Normal Values) who automatically calculate range of normality for a broad range of echocardiographic measurements according to age/gender/weight/height, has been generated. We provide an up-to-date and critical review of strengths/limitation of current adult echocardiographic nomograms. Furthermore we generated a software for automatic, easy and fast access to multiple echocardiographic normative data.

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