Right heart failure due to ventricular adiposity: 'adipositas cordis'--an old diagnosis revisited

Can J Cardiol. 1996 May;12(5):485-9.


Adiposity of the heart is characterized by an increase in the amount of epicardial and other adipose tissue. The most pronounced changes involve the right ventricle. The adipocytes may be interposed between myocytes, and in severe cases the normal mechanics and function of the ventricle are impaired. Adiposity of the heart is usually an incidental finding at autopsy, and only rarely is it of clinical significance. This report describes a 46-year-old female with multiorgan failure secondary to bronchopneumonia, purulent pericarditis, tamponade and sepsis, whose clinical course was altered due to severe adiposity of the heart, so-called 'adipositas cordis'.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Autopsy
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / etiology*
  • Heart Failure / pathology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / pathology
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / complications*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / diagnostic imaging