Pericardial Fat, Intrathoracic Fat, and Measures of Left Ventricular Structure and Function The Framingham Heart Study

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA 01702, USA.
Circulation (Impact Factor: 14.43). 04/2009; 119(12):1586-91. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.828970
Source: PubMed


Background: Pericardial fat has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity-related cardiovascular disease. Whether the associations of pericardial fat and measures of cardiac structure and function are independent of the systemic effects of obesity and visceral adiposity has not been fully explored. Methods and Results: Participants from the Framingham Heart Study (n=997; 54.4% women) underwent chest and abdominal computed tomography and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging between 2002 and 2005. Pericardial fat, intrathoracic fat, and visceral adipose tissue quantified from multidetector computed tomography, along with body mass index and waist circumference, were examined in relation to cardiovascular magnetic resonance measures of left ventricular (LV) mass, LV end-diastolic volume, and left atrial dimension. In women, pericardial fat (r=0.20 to 0.35, Pr=0.25 to 0.37, Pr=0.24 to 0.45, Pr=0.36 to 0.53, Pr=0.30 to 0.48, P<0.001) were directly correlated with LV mass, LV end-diastolic volume, and left atrial dimension. In men, pericardial fat (r=0.19 to 0.37, P<0.001), intrathoracic fat (r=0.17 to 0.31, Pr=0.19 to 0.36, Pr=0.32 to 0.44, Pr=0.34 to 0.44, P<0.001) were directly correlated with LV mass and left atrial dimension, but LV end-diastolic volume was not consistently associated with adiposity measures. Associations persisted after multivariable adjustment but not after additional adjustment for body weight and visceral adipose tissue, except for pericardial fat and left atrial dimension in men. ConclusionsmdashPericardial fat is correlated with cardiovascular magnetic resonance measures, but the association is not independent of or stronger than other ectopic fat stores or proxy measures of visceral adiposity. An important exception is left atrial dimension in men. These results suggest that the systemic effects of obesity on cardiac structure and function may outweigh the local pathogenic effects of pericardial fat.

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Available from: Christopher J O'Donnell, Jun 09, 2014
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    • "LV structure and function [26] [27]. Interestingly, it is note worthy that visceral adiposity showed a stronger association with LV diastolic parameters than BMI or subcutaneous adipose tissue. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Obesity and low muscle mass may coexist as age-related changes in body composition. We aimed to investigate the effect of visceral adiposity and skeletal muscle mass on left ventricular (LV) structure and function in the general population. Methods: A total of 1941 participants without known cardiovascular disease were enrolled from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. Visceral fat area (VFA) was assessed by computed tomography. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) was estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and was used as a percentage of body weight (ASM/Wt). LV structure and function were assessed by tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) echocardiography. Results: Across VFA tertiles, ASM increased, but ASM/Wt decreased (all P<0.001). In multivariate models adjusted for conventional cardiovascular risk factors, LV mass index and LV diastolic parameters, such as left atrial dimension, TDI Ea velocity, and E/Ea ratio, were significantly impaired as VFA increased. On the other hand, an increase in ASM/Wt was associated with a decrease in LV mass index and improvement of LV diastolic parameters. With regard to LV mass index and TDI Ea velocity, VFA and ASM/Wt showed synergistic effects (all P interaction<0.05). When both VFA and ASM/Wt were simultaneously included in the same model, both remained independent predictors of LV mass index and TDI Ea velocity. Conclusions: More visceral fat and less muscle mass are independently and synergistically associated with an increase in LV mass index and impairment of LV diastolic parameters. Further research is needed to explore the complex mechanisms underlying these associations.
    International Journal of Cardiology 08/2014; 176(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.08.108 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    • "Both studies suggested local interactions between the regional adipose and LV function, but without ruling out the influence from systemic effects caused by overall obesity. It became particular interesting when Fox et al. performed a large population study [22] in 2009. They reported that pericardial fat correlated with LV EDV and atrial dimension, but these correlations did not hold after the multivariable adjustment for overall adiposity, and suggested that systemic influences might override local effects. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Although increased volume of pericardial fat has been associated with decreased cardiac function, it is unclear whether this association is mediated by systemic overall obesity or direct regional fat interactions. We hypothesized that if local effects dominate, left ventricular (LV) function would be most strongly associated with pericardial fat that surrounds the left rather than the right ventricle (RV). Methods Female obese subjects (n = 60) had cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) scans to obtain measures of LV function and pericardial fat volumes. LV function was obtained using the cine steady state free precession imaging in short axis orientation. The amount of pericardial fat was determined volumetrically by the cardiac gated T1 black blood imaging and normalized to body surface area. Results In this study cohort, LV fat correlated with several LV hemodynamic measurements including cardiac output (r = -0.41, p = 0.001) and stroke volume (r = -0.26, p = 0.05), as well as diastolic functional parameters including peak-early-filling rate (r = -0.38, p = 0.01), early late filling ratio (r = -0.34, p = 0.03), and time to peak-early-filling (r = 0.34, p = 0.03). These correlations remained significant even after adjusting for the body mass index and the blood pressure. However, similar correlations became weakened or even disappeared between RV fat and LV function. LV function was not correlated with systemic plasma factors, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), resistin and adiponectin (all p > 0.05). Conclusions LV hemodynamic and diastolic function was associated more with LV fat as compared to RV or total pericardial fat, but not with systemic inflammatory markers or adipokines. The correlations between LV function and pericardial fat remained significant even after adjusting for systemic factors. These findings suggest a site-specific influence of pericardial fat on LV function, which could imply local secretion of molecules into the underlying tissue or an anatomic effect, both mechanisms meriting future evaluation.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 05/2014; 16(1):37. DOI:10.1186/1532-429X-16-37 · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    • "[12] [13] [14] In a community-based study of nearly 1000 participants undergoing MDCT examination, it was found that pericardial fat volume was associated with LV mass, LVEDV, and LA dimension in women and with LV mass and LA dimension in men. [23] In another report, PFV was found to be positively associated with LA size in men. Subsequent work supported these findings by demonstrating a positive association between pericardial adipose tissue and prevalent atrial fibrillation, which is known to be associated with LA size.[16] "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that pericardial fat may represent an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease because of its unique properties and its proximity to cardiac structures. It has been reported that pericardial fat volume (PFV) is associated with atrial fibrillation (AF). The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between PFV and new-onset AF following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). PFV was measured using computed tomography in 83 patients with coronary artery disease scheduled to undergo elective isolated on-pump CABG. Patient characteristics, medical history and perioperative variables were prospectively collected. Any documented episode of new-onset postoperative AF until discharge was defined as the study end point. Twenty-eight patients (33.7%) developed postoperatively AF during hospital stay. There was no significant difference in demographics and comorbidities among patients that maintained sinus rhythm (SR) and their AF counterparts. In univariate analysis, patients with postoperative AF had significantly more pericardial fat compared with SR patients (195 ± 80 ml vs 126 ± 47 ml, P = 0.0001). Larger left atrial diameter was also associated with postoperative AF (42.4 ± 6.9 mm vs 39.3 ± 4.8 mm, P = 0.017). Additionally, the prebypass use of calcium channel-blocking agents was independently associated with a lower incidence of postoperative AF, confirmed also by multivariate analysis (P = 0.035). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, PFV was the strongest independent variable associated with the development of postoperative AF (odds ratio: 1.018, 95% confidence interval: 1.009-1.027, P = 0.0001). The best discriminant value assessed by receiver operating characteristic analysis was 129.5 ml (sensitivity 86% and specificity 56%). PFV is strongly associated with AF following CABG, independently of many traditional risk factors. Our findings suggest that PFV may represent a novel risk factor for postoperative AF. However, the role of pericardial fat in AF mechanism needs to be further delineated.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 03/2014; 46(6). DOI:10.1093/ejcts/ezu043 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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