Epicardial fat, rather than pericardial fat, is independently associated with diastolic filling in subjects without apparent heart disease

S. Dabbah, H. Komarov, A. Marmor, N. Assy

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19 Scopus citations


Background and aim: Epicardial and pericardial fat are separate fat depots surrounding the heart. Previous studies found epicardial fat to be associated with diastolic dysfunction, but they had some limitations. Pericardial fat association with diastolic dysfunction was not examined. Our aim was to assess the relation of epicardial and pericardial fat with diastolic filling. Methods and results: In 73 volunteers without known heart disease or complaints, using echocardiography, we measured epicardial and pericardial fat thickness from long(LAX) and short(SAX) axis views and assessed diastolic filling: mitral inflow (E/A ratio, E wave deceleration time[DT]), pulmonary vein flow (systolic/diastolic ratio [S/D], systolic filling fraction[SFR], late retrograde velocity[Ar]), color M-mode flow propagation velocity [Vp], and tissue Doppler derived mitral early annular velocities at the septum [e' sep] and lateral wall [e'-lat]. By Spearman's correlation, epicardial fat from LAX had a weak, but statistically significant correlations with several diastolic filling indices (SFR{rs = 0.29, P = 0.02}, Ar{rs = 0.3, P = 0.01}, Vp{rs = -0.3, P = 0.01}, e' sep{rs = -0.23, P = 0.04}, e' lat{rs = -0.26, P = 0.03}). In multivariate logistic regression model adjusting for age, gender, diabetes, systolic blood pressure and left ventricle mass index, epicardial fat thickness from LAX (and not from SAX) was the only independent predictor of e' [e' sep < 8: OR = 1.8, 95%CI = 1.1-2.9; e' lat<10: OR = 1.6, 95%CI = 1.01-2.6]. After adjustment, Pericardial fat measured from LAX was independent predictor of e' lat only[e' lat < 10:OR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.03-1.6). Conclusions: Epicardial fat measured from LAX is an independent predictor of myocardial relaxation. Pericardial fat independent association with diastolic filling is uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Diastolic dysfunction
  • Echocardiography
  • Epicardial fat
  • Long axis
  • Pericardial fat
  • Short axis


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