Background Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of heart failure (HF) with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) >40%, but whether this is due to a regional or global effect of EAT remains unclear.
Hypothesis Regional EAT is associated with alterations in local cardiac structure and function.
Methods Patients with HF and LVEF >40% were studied. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance imaging was used to localize EAT surrounding the right ventricle (RV) and LV separately, using anterior- and posterior interventricular grooves as boundaries. Atrial- and ventricular EAT were differentiated using the mitral-valve position. All EAT depots were related to the adjacent myocardial structure.
Results 102 consecutive HF patients were enrolled. The majority of EAT was present around the RV (42% of total EAT, p < .001). RV-EAT showed a strong association with increased RV mass (beta = 0.60, p < .001) and remained associated with RV mass after adjusting for total EAT, sex, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), renal function and blood glucose. LV-EAT showed a similar association with LV mass in univariable analysis, albeit less pronounced (beta = 0.24, p = .02). Atrial EAT was increased in patients with atrial fibrillation compared to those without atrial fibrillation (30 vs. 26 ml/m(2), p = .04), whereas ventricular EAT was similar (74 vs. 75 ml/m(2), p = .9).
Conclusions Regional EAT is strongly associated with local cardiac structure and function in HF patients with LVEF >40%. These data support the hypothesis that regional EAT is involved in the pathophysiology of HF with LVEF >40%.
- cardiac magnetic resonance imaging