Background: Definition of normative data of the great arteries from neonatal to adult ages may aid in assessment of the growth of cardiovascular structures, thus guiding the timing and type of intervention in patients with congenital cardiac disease. Methods: We calculated the cross-sectional areas of the arterial roots at the basal attachment of the valvar leaflets, the sinuses, and standardized distal sites using cineangiograms of 59 normal children and adolescents with mean age of 5.4 plus or minus 4.7 years and a range from 0.1 to 16 years, the children having a mean weight of 21.2 plus or minus 15.7 kilograms, with a range from 2.2 to 68 kilograms, and mean height of 108 plus or minus 35 centimetres, with a range from 43 to 184 centimetres. Values at each site were calculated averaging end-diastolic and end-systolic measurements, and indexed to body surface area. Results are expressed as the mean plus or minus the standard deviation. Results: The diameter of the aortic root at the basal attachment of the leaflets was 249 plus or minus 26, the midpoint of the sinuses 379 plus or minus 59, the sinutubular junction 290 plus or minus 58, the isthmus 158 plus or minus 36, the postisthmic region 152 plus or minus 33, and the descending aorta at the level of diaphragm 130 plus or minus 18 millimetres squared per metre squared. The pulmonary root measured at the basal attachment of the leaflets was 253 plus or minus 28, the midpoint of the sinuses 352 plus or minus 58, the sinutubular junction 293 plus or minus 58, the right pulmonary artery 176 plus or minus 25, the left pulmonary artery 153 plus or minus 20, and sum of right and left pulmonary arteries 330 plus or minus 37 millimetres squared per metre squared. All indexes were consistent over a wide range for body surface areas. Conclusions: Definition of normative data of the great vessels may aid in the evaluation of congenital or acquired abnormalities, serving as guidelines for intervention during medical or surgical management and follow-up.
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