Epicardial Fat from Echocardiography: A New Method for Visceral Adipose Tissue Prediction
Version of Record online: 6 SEP 2012
2003 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)
Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 304–310, February 2003
How to Cite
Iacobellis, G., Assael, F., Ribaudo, M. C., Zappaterreno, A., Alessi, G., Di Mario, U. and Leonetti, F. (2003), Epicardial Fat from Echocardiography: A New Method for Visceral Adipose Tissue Prediction. Obesity Research, 11: 304–310. doi: 10.1038/oby.2003.45
- Issue online: 6 SEP 2012
- Version of Record online: 6 SEP 2012
- Received for review May 14, 2002; Accepted in final form December 03, 2002
Objective: To validate transthoracic echocardiography as an easy and reliable imaging method for visceral adipose tissue (VAT) prediction. VAT is recognized as an important indicator of high cardiovascular and metabolic risk. Several methods are applied to estimate VAT, with different results.
Research Methods and Procedures: We selected 60 healthy subjects (29 women, 31 men, 49.5 ± 16.2 years) with a wide range of body mass indexes. Each subject underwent transthoracic echocardiogram and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure epicardial fat thickness on the right ventricle. Measurements of epicardial adipose tissue thickness were obtained from the same echocardiographic and MRI views and points. MRI was also used to measure VAT cross-sectional areas at the level of L4 to L5. Anthropometric indexes were also measured.
Results: Subjects with predominant visceral fat accumulation showed higher epicardial adipose tissue thickness than subjects with predominant peripheral fat distribution: 9.97 ± 2.88 vs. 4.34 ± 1.98 (p = 0.005) and 7.19 ± 2.74 vs. 3.43 ± 1.64 (p = 0.004) in men and women, respectively. Simple linear regression analysis showed an excellent correlation between epicardial adipose tissue and waist circumference (r = 0.895, p = 0.01) and MRI abdominal VAT (r = 0.864, p = 0.01). Multiple regression analysis showed that epicardial adipose tissue thickness (r2 = 0.442, p = 0.02) was the strongest independent variable correlated to MRI VAT. Bland test confirmed the good agreement between the two methods.
Discussion: Epicardial adipose tissue showed a strong correlation with anthropometric and imaging measurements of VAT. Hence, transthoracic echocardiography could be an easy and reliable imaging method for VAT prediction.