Epicardial Adipose Tissue and Outcome in Heart Failure With Mid-Range and Preserved Ejection Fraction

Gijs van Woerden, Dirk J van Veldhuisen, Olivier C Manintveld, Vanessa P M van Empel, Tineke P Willems, Rudolf A de Boer, Michiel Rienstra, B Daan Westenbrink, Thomas M Gorter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) accumulation is thought to play a role in the pathophysiology of heart failure (HF) with mid-range and preserved ejection fraction, but its effect on outcome is unknown. We evaluated the prognostic value of EAT volume measured with cardiac magnetic resonance in patients with HF with mid-range ejection fraction and HF with preserved ejection fraction.

METHODS: Patients enrolled in a prospective multicenter study that investigated the value of implantable loop-recorders in HF with mid-range ejection fraction and HF with preserved ejection fraction were analyzed. EAT volume was quantified with cardiac magnetic resonance. Main outcome was the composite of all-cause mortality and first HF hospitalizations. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% CI are described per SD increase in EAT.

RESULTS: We studied 105 patients (mean age 72±8 years, 50% women, and mean left ventricular ejection fraction 53±8%). During median follow-up of 24 (17-25) months, 31 patients (30%) died or were hospitalized for HF. In univariable analysis, EAT was significantly associated with a higher risk of the composite outcome (HR, 1.76 [95% CI, 1.24-2.50], P=0.001), and EAT remained associated with outcome after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index (HR, 1.61 [95% CI, 1.13-2.31], P=0.009), and after adjustment for New York Heart Association functional class and N-terminal of pro-brain natriuretic peptide (HR, 1.53 [95% CI, 1.04-2.24], P=0.03). Furthermore, EAT was associated with all-cause mortality alone (HR, 2.06 [95% CI, 1.26-3.37], P=0.004) and HF hospitalizations alone (HR, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.04-2.30], P=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: EAT accumulation is associated with adverse prognosis in patients with HF with mid-range ejection fraction and HF with preserved ejection fraction. This finding supports the importance of EAT in these patients with HF.

REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01989299.

Original languageEnglish
Article number009238
Number of pages11
JournalCirculation-Heart Failure
Issue number3
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • adipose tissue
  • heart failure
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • obesity
  • prognosis
  • RISK

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