In this echocardiographic study, assessment of the heart in children with cystic firbrosis has shown that changes occur in not only the right ventricle but also in the left ventricle and aorta, as compared with normal. Echocardiograms could be successfully performed in 34 of 37 patients. The thickness of the right ventricular anterior wall and the dimension of the right ventricular cavity were abnormal, even in patients with mild disease (National Institutes of Health [NIH] score for severity of disease of 85 or greater). Larger, older children with lower NIH scores had disproportionately larger right ventricular anterior walls and cavities. The thickness of the septal wall, the thickness of the left ventricular posterior wall, and the aortic dimensions were increased in those with severe disease. The dimensions of the left ventricular cavity for the population were slightly but significantly smaller than normal in systole and in diastole throughout the course of the disease. This study demonstrates that echocardiography is an effective noninvasive means of assessing the long-term changes in children with cystic fibrosis. These changes occur in both sides of the heart and appear to worsen as the disease progresses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine