Impact of Epicardial Adipose Tissue, Left Ventricular Myocardial Fat Content, and Interstitial Fibrosis on Myocardial Contractile Function

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Abstract

Background

Current understanding of metabolic heart disease consists of a myriad of different pathophysiological mechanisms. Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) is increasingly recognized as metabolically active and associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of increased EAT volume index on left ventricular (LV) myocardial fat content and burden of interstitial myocardial fibrosis and their subsequent effects on LV myocardial contractile function.

Methods and Results

A total of 40 volunteers (mean age, 35±10 years; 26 males) of varying body mass index (25.0±4.1 kg/m2; range, 19.3–36.3 kg/m2) and without diabetes mellitus or hypertension were prospectively recruited. EAT volume index, LV myocardial fat content, and extracellular volume were quantified by magnetic resonance imaging. LV myocardial contractile function was quantified by speckle tracking echocardiography global longitudinal strain on the same day as magnetic resonance imaging examination. Mean total EAT volume index, LV myocardial fat content, and extracellular volume were 30.0±19.6 cm3/m2, 5.06%±1.18%, and 27.5%±0.5%, respectively. On multivariable analyses, increased EAT volume index and insulin resistance were independently associated with both increased LV myocardial fat content content and higher burden of interstitial myocardial fibrosis. Furthermore, increased EAT volume index was independently associated with LV global longitudinal strain.

Conclusions

Increased EAT volume index and insulin resistance were independently associated with increased myocardial fat accumulation and interstitial myocardial fibrosis. Increased EAT volume index was associated with detrimental effects on myocardial contractile function as evidenced by a reduction in LV global longitudinal strain.

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