Epicardial adipose tissue and pericardial constraint in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Yoran Crum, Elke S Hoendermis, Dirk J van Veldhuisen, Gijs van Woerden, Michelle Lobeek, Michael G Dickinson, Laura M G Meems, Adriaan A Voors, Michiel Rienstra, Thomas M Gorter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

AIMS: Obesity and epicardial adiposity play a role in the pathophysiology of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), and both are associated with increased filling pressures and reduced exercise capacity. The haemodynamic basis for these observations remains inaccurately defined. We hypothesize that an abundance of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) within the pericardial sac is associated with haemodynamic signs of pericardial constraint.

METHODS AND RESULTS: HFpEF patients who underwent invasive heart catheterization with simultaneous echocardiography were included. Right atrial pressure (RAP), right ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) were invasively measured. The presence of a square root sign on the right ventricular pressure waveform and the RAP/PCWP ratio (surrogate parameters for pericardial constraint) were investigated. EAT thickness alongside the right ventricle was measured on echocardiography. Sixty-four patients were studied, with a mean age of 73 ± 10 years, 64% women, and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 28.6 ± 5.4 kg/m 2 . In total, 47 patients (73%) had a square root sign. The presence of a square root sign was associated with higher BMI (29.3 vs. 26.7 kg/m 2 , P = 0.02), higher EAT (4.0 vs. 3.4 mm, P = 0.03), and higher RAP (9 vs. 6 mmHg, P = 0.04). Women had more EAT than men (4.1 vs. 3.5 mm, P = 0.04), despite a comparable BMI. Women with a square root sign had significantly higher EAT (4.3 vs. 3.3 mm, P = 0.02), a higher mean RAP (9 vs. 5 mmHg, P = 0.02), and a higher RAP/PCWP ratio (0.52 vs. 0.26, P = 0.002). In men, such associations were not seen, although there was no significant interaction between men and women (P > 0.05 for all analyses).

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity and epicardial adiposity are associated with haemodynamic signs of pericardial constraint in patients with HFpEF. The pathophysiological and therapeutic implications of this finding need further study.

Original languageEnglish
JournalESC Heart Failure
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4-Mar-2024

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