Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Aortic dilation
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Aortic dilation

Hi,
      My son is 8yrs old with a ht. 129cm and wt.26kgs.My ped. cardiology told us he has Z value very little bit above normal(slightly more than 2).It is not changing since 2 years.What should be the normal val. of Z for his wt. and ht. In future what are the problems he has to face.Can u please explain me.We are so worried as he is a healthy boy.

Thank u all.
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773655_tn?1340656399
Z-scores allow us to compare particular measurements to a group.  So if the measurement is average (50th%ile) then there is no deviation from the average and the z-score is 0.  If the measurement is low normal (5%ile) then the z-score is -2.  If the measurement is high normal (95%ile) then the z-score is +2.  If your child's aortic z-score if slightly above 2, then it would be larger than normal.  The implications of that depend upon whether there is any other cardiac abnormality (like a bicuspid aortic valve), any family history of Marfan syndrome or other connective tissue disorders, etc.  Generally, children with significant aortc dilation are evaluated by geneticists to see if they feel there is any underlying problem. They may need restriction from contact sports or heavy weight lifting if the aorta is dilated to avoid stretching it further and to avoid risk of rupture. The fact that your child's aortic z-score has been stable for 6 years is very consoling.  I would ask you to address your concerns to your primary doctor and cardiologist who are following your child's echo tests.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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