A three-dimensional atlas of child’s cardiac anatomy and the unique morphological alterations associated with obesity

MacIej Marciniak, Arend van Deutekom, Liza Toemen, Adam J Lewandowski, Romy Gaillard, Alistair Young, Vincent Jaddoe, Pablo Lamata de la Orden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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%).
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 languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Heart Journal-Cardiovascular Imaging
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Dec 2021


  • Statistical shape analysis
  • Morphology
  • Paediatric cardiology
  • Obesity


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