Cardiac structure and function in the obese: A cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging study

Peter G. Danias, Nicholas A. Tritos, Matthias Stuber, Kraig V. Kissinger, Carol J. Salton, Warren J. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background. Obesity is a major health problem in the Western world. Among obese subjects cardiac pathology is common, but conventional noninvasive imaging modalities are often suboptimal for detailed evaluation of cardiac structure and function. We investigated whether cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) can better characterize possible cardiac abnormalities associated with obesity, in the absence of other confounding comorbidities. Methods. In this prospective cross-sectional study, CMR was used to quantify left and right ventricular volumes, ejection fraction, mass, cardiac output, and apical left ventricular rotation in 25 clinically healthy obese men and 25 age-matched lean controls. Results. Obese subjects had higher left ventricular mass (203 ± ; 38 g vs. 163 ± ; 22 g, p < ; 0.001), end-diastolic volume (176 ± ; 29 mL vs. 156 ± ; 25 mL, p < ; 0.05), and cardiac output (8.2 ± ; 1.2 L/min vs. 6.4 ± ; 1.3 L/min, p < ; 0.001). The obese also had increased right ventricular mass (105 ± ; 25 g vs. 87 ± ; 18 g, p < ; 0.005) and end-diastolic volume (179 ± ; 36 mL vs. 155 ± ; 28 mL, p < ; 0.05). When indexed for height, differences in left and right ventricular mass, and left ventricular end-diastolic volume remained significant. Apical left ventricular rotation and rotational velocity patterns were also different between obese and lean subjects. Conclusions. Obesity is independently associated with remodeling of the heart. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging identifies subtle cardiac abnormalities and may be the preferred imaging technique to evaluate cardiac structure and function in the obese.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR)
  • Obesity
  • Tagging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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