Epicardial and Pericardial Fat Volume Correlate With the Severity of Coronary Artery Stenosis

J Cardiovasc Thorac Res. 2014;6(4):235-9. doi: 10.15171/jcvtr.2014.018. Epub 2014 Dec 30.


Introduction: Epicardial fat volume (EFV) has been reported to correlate with the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD). Pericardial fat volume (PFV) has recently been reported to be strongly associated with CAD severity and presence. We aimed to investigate the relationship between EFV and PFV with severity of coronary artery stenosis in patients undergoing 64-slice multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT).

Methods: One hundred and fifty one patients undergoing MSCT for suspected CAD were enrolled. Non-enhanced images were acquired to assess calcium score. Contrast enhanced images were used to quantify EFV, PFV and severity of luminal stenosis.

Results: Coronary artery stenosis was mild in 25 cases (16.6%), moderate in 58 cases (38.4%) and severe in 68 cases (45%). With increase in severity of coronary artery stenosis, there was significant increase in PFV, EFV as well as epicardial fat thickness in right ventricle free wall in basal view and epicardial fat thickness in left ventricle posterior wall in mid and apical view. There was significant linear correlation between PFV with coronary calcification score (r=0.18, P=0.02), between coronary artery stenosis severity and PFV (r=0.75, P<0.001), EFV (r=0.79, P<0.001), apical epicardial fat thickness in right ventricle free wall (r=0.29, P<0.001), Mid (r=0.28, P<0.001) and basal (r=0.23, P=0.004) epicardial fat thickness in left ventricle posterior wall.

Conclusion: PFV, EFV and regional epicardial thickness are correlated with severity of CAD and could be used as a reliable marker in predicting CAD severity.

Keywords: Coronary Artery Disease; Epicardial Fat Volume; Multi Slice Computed Tomography; Pericardial Fat Volume.