The role of epicardial and perivascular adipose tissue in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease
BACKGROUND The relationship between the epicardial fat volume measured by 64-slice multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and the extension and severity of coronary atherosclerosis was investigated. METHODS AND RESULTS Both MDCT and conventional coronary angiography (CAG) were performed in 71 consecutive patients who presented with effort angina. The volume of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) was measured by MDCT. The severity of coronary atherosclerosis was assessed by evaluating the extension of coronary plaques in 790 segments using MDCT data, and the percentage diameter stenosis in 995 segments using CAG data. The estimated volume of EAT indexed by body surface area was defined as VEAT. Increased VEAT was associated with advanced age, male sex, degree of metabolic alterations, a history of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and the presence of total occlusions, and showed positive correlation with the stenosis score (r=0.28, P=0.02) and the atheromatosis score (r=0.67, P<0.0001) of the coronary arteries. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed an increased VEAT (>or=50 cm(3)/m(2)) to be the strongest independent determinant of the presence of total occlusions (odds ratio 4.64, P=0.02). CONCLUSIONS VEAT correlates with the degree of metabolic alterations and coronary atheromatosis. Excessive accumulation of EAT might contribute to the development of ACS and coronary total occlusions.