Epicardial adipose tissue, obesity, and the occurrence of atrial fibrillation: an overview of pathophysiology and treatment methods

Juan Pablo Scarano Pereira, Eloise Owen, Alessandro Martinino, Kiran Akmal, Mohamed Abouelazayem, Yitka Graham, Sylvia Weiner, Nasser Sakran, Lukas R. Dekker, Chetan Parmar, Sjaak Pouwels

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Obesity is a chronic disease, which has significant health consequences and is a staggering burden to health care systems. Obesity can have harmful effects on the cardiovascular system, including heart failure, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and atrial fibrillation (AF). One of the possible substrates might be epicardial adipose tissue (EAT), which can be the link between AF and obesity. EAT is a fat deposit located between the myocardium and the visceral pericardium. Numerous studies have demonstrated that EAT plays a pivotal role in this relationship regarding atrial fibrillation. Areas covered: This review will focus on the role of obesity and the occurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and examine the connection between these and epicardial adipose tissue (EAT). The first part of this review will explain the pathophysiology of EAT and its association with the occurrence of AF. Secondly, we will review bariatric and metabolic surgery and its effects on EAT and AF. Expert commentary: In this review, the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment methods of AF are explained. Secondly, the effects on EAT were elucidated. Due to the complex pathophysiological link between EAT, AF, and obesity, it is still uncertain which treatment strategy is superior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-322
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Obesity
  • atrial fibrillation
  • bariatric surgery
  • epicardial adipose tissue
  • heart rhythm disorders
  • metabolic surgery

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