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ISSN: 1642-5758
Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy
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vol. 55
Special paper

Computed tomography measured epicardial adipose tissue and psoas muscle attenuation: new biomarkers to predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and mortality in patients with heart disease and critically ill patients. Part I: Epicardial adipose tissue

Jeroen Walpot
Paul Van Herck
2, 3
Caroline M. Van de Heyning
2, 3
Johan Bosmans
2, 3
Samia Massalha
Manu L.N.G. Malbrain
5, 6
Hein Heidbuchel
2, 3
João R. Inácio

Zorgsaam Hospital, Netherlands
Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Rambam Health Campus, Haifa, Israel
International Fluid Academy, Lovenjoel, Belgium
First Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Centro Universitario Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, UL, Portugal
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2023; 55, 3: 141–157
Online publish date: 2023/08/31
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Over the last two decades, the potential role of epicardial adipocyte tissue (EAT) as a marker for major adverse cardiovascular events has been extensively studied.

Unlike other visceral adipocyte tissues (VAT), EAT is not separated from the adjacent myocardium by a fascial layer and shares the same microcirculation with the myocardium. Adipocytokines, secreted by EAT, interact directly with the myocardium through paracrine and vasocrine pathways. The role of the Randle cycle, linking VAT accumulation to insulin resistance, and the relevance of blood flow and mitochondrial function of VAT, are briefly discussed.

The three available imaging modalities for the assessment of EAT are discussed. The advantages of echocardiography, cardiac CT, and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) are compared.

The last section summarises the current stage of knowledge on EAT as a clinical marker for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). The association between EAT volume and coronary artery disease (CAD) has robustly been validated. There is growing evidence that EAT volume is associated with computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) assessed high-risk plaque features. The EAT CT attenuation coefficient predicts coronary events. Many studies have established EAT volume as a predictor of atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery. Moreover, EAT thickness has been independently associated with severe aortic stenosis and mitral annular calcification. Studies have demonstrated that EAT volume is associated with heart failure. Finally, we discuss the potential role of EAT in critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit.

In conclusion, EAT seems to be a promising new biomarker to predict MACE.

atrial fibrillation, biomarker, critically ill patients, clinical outcomes, computed tomography, coronary artery disease, heart failure, major adverse cardiovascular events, epicardial adipose tissue

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