Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) exhibits morphological similarities with pericardial adipose tissue, however, it has different embryological origin and vascularization. EAT is a metabolically active organ and a major source of anti-inflammatory and proinflammatory adipokines, which have a significant impact on cardiac function and morphology. Moreover, it can regulate vascular tone by releasing various molecules. The relationship between EAT and cardiovascular disease and diseases of other organ systems is now considered a common discussion subject. The present clinical review article summarizes the epidemiological findings based on imaging techniques in studies conducted so far. In conclusion, evaluation of the epicardial adipose tissue constitutes a helpful scientific parameter, which can be assessed by means of different diagnostic imaging examinations.
Keywords: diagnostic imaging; epicardial adipose tissue; scientific research.