Left ventricular structure and function in children with and without developmental coordination disorder Academic Article uri icon

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  • Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease risk factors such as obesity and reduced cardio-respiratory fitness. However, there is limited data using laboratory measures for assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with DCD. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in left ventricular structure and function between children with DCD and healthy controls. The study involved 126 children (aged 12-13 years) with significant motor impairment (n = 63) and healthy controls (n = 63) matched for age, sex, and school. The Movement ABC test (M-ABC2) was used to classify children as probable DCD (p-DCD). Cardiac dimensions were measured using ultrasound echocardiography. Left ventricular mass (LVM) was elevated in children with p-DCD (89 ± 17 g) compared to controls (87 ± 21 g), however, this difference was not significant. When LVM was normalized to height(2.7), no difference was evident between groups (26 g and 26 g for the p-DCD and controls, respectively). However, the p-DCD group demonstrated significantly elevated stroke volume (p = 0.02), cardiac output (p<0.001), end-diastolic volume (p = 0.03), and left ventricle diameter in diastole (p = 0.02). Also, peak VO(2) normalized for fat free mass (FFM) was significantly lower (p = 0.001) and systolic blood pressure (p = 0.01), body mass index (p = 0.001), heart rate (p = 0.005) and percent body fat (p<0.001) were significantly higher in p-DCD. In regression analyses, p-DCD was a significant predictor of stroke volume and cardiac output even after accounting for height, FFM, VO(2FFM), and sex. Children with p-DCD do not demonstrate significantly elevated LVM or depressed systolic function compared to healthy controls. However, cases with p-DCD demonstrate significantly elevated end-diastolic volume, diastolic chamber size, stroke volume, and cardiac output. These differences indicate obesity related changes in the left ventricle and may represent the early stages of developing left ventricle hypertrophy.


  • Chirico, Daniele
  • O’Leary, Deborah
  • Cairney, John
  • Klentrou, Panagiota
  • Haluka, Karen
  • Hay, John
  • Faught, Brent

publication date

  • January 2011