RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES
Validation of right ventricular mass quantitation by electron beam computed tomography in humans has not been performed. The ability of electron beam computed tomography to accurately determine the septal component of the right ventricle also has not been determined. This article addresses both issues.
Twenty human adult hearts obtained at autopsy were scanned by electron beam computed tomography in a short-axis projection. Planimetry of the right ventricular free wall and septal components of each slice was performed and summed to determine right ventricular mass. These measurements were compared against comparable measurements obtained by autopsy weights of the hearts.
Right ventricular free wall weights by electron beam computed tomography (53.9 ± 18.4 g) correlated well (slope = .92, r = .92, standard error of the estimate = 7.4 g, P < .001) with autopsy weights (55.8 ± 18.4 g). Right ventricular septal weights by electron beam computed tomography (6.1 ± 2.3 g) correlated poorly (slope = .04, r = .11, standard error of the estimate = 2.4 g, P = .65) with autopsy weights (13.9 ± 6.3 g).
CONCLUSIONS. Electron beam computed tomography quantitation of right ventricular mass is accurate in humans if only the free wall and not the septal component is utilized.