Systolic right ventricular function in preterm and term neonates: Reference values of the tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) in 258 patients and calculation of z-score values

Martin Koestenberger, Bert Nagel, William Ravekes, Berndt Urlesberger, Wolfgang Raith, Alexander Avian, Verena Halb, Gerhard Cvirn, Peter Fritsch, Andreas Gamillscheg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) is an echocardiographic measurement to assess right ventricular systolic function in adults and children. Objective: We determined growth- and birth weight-related changes of TAPSE to establish reference values in preterm and term neonates. Methods: A prospective study was conducted in a group of 258 preterm and term neonates (age: 25+0 to 40+6 weeks of gestation, birth weight: 530-4,200 g). Results: The TAPSE ranged from a mean of 0.44 cm (Z-score ±2: 0.30-0.59 cm) in preterm neonates in the 26th week of gestation to 1.03 cm (Z-score ±2: 0.85-1.21 cm) in term neonates in the 41st week of gestation. The TAPSE values increased in a linear way from the 26th to 41st week of gestation. TAPSE, week of gestation and weight are strongly correlated: Pearson's correlation coefficient was 0.93 for week of gestation - TAPSE (p <0.001), 0.93 for week of gestation - birth weight (p <0.001), and 0.89 for birth weight - TAPSE (p <0.001). There was no statistically significant difference of normal TAPSE values between female and male patients (p = 0.987). Conclusion: Z-scores of TAPSE values were calculated and percentile charts were established to serve as reference data for ready application in preterm and term neonates with structurally normal hearts and with congenital heart disease in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011



  • Birth weight, TAPSE
  • M-mode
  • Preterm neonates
  • Right ventricular systolic function
  • TAPSE, reference values
  • Term neonates
  • Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion
  • Z-score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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