Objective The aims of this study were to examine whether left cardiac structures track from fetal life onwards and to examine whether maternal and fetal characteristics are associated with left cardiac structures at the age of 2 years.
Methods The study was conducted in 686 infants participating in a prospective cohort study from early fetal life onwards. Maternal characteristics were measured in early pregnancy. Fetal growth and placental characteristics were assessed in second and third trimester. Left cardiac structures (left ventricular mass, aortic root diameter, left atrial diameter and shortening fraction) were measured at the postnatal ages of 6 weeks, 6 months and 24 months.
Results Children tended to remain in the lowest and highest quartiles of left cardiac structures from the age of 6 weeks to the age of 2 years (overall correlations p-values <0.05). Maternal height was positively associated with left cardiac structures at the age of 2 years. Third trimester fetal growth and blood flow characteristics and postnatal weight and length were positively associated with left cardiac structures at the age of 2 years.
Conclusions Left ventricular structures track in the first 2 years of life. Maternal anthropometrics and fetal biometrics and blood flow patterns are associated with left ventricular structures at the age of 2 years. Follow-up studies are needed to examine whether these variations in left ventricular structures are related to cardiac function in later life.