Introduction: Visceral adipose tissue is a known important risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). While some studies have suggested relationship between epicardial fat thickness (EFT) and CAD, there are no adequate studies for pericardial fat thickness (PFT). The aim of this study was to determine the association of EFT and PFT with CAD.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on patients who were candidates for elective coronary artery angiography, referred to Emam Reza Hospital, Mashhad, Iran during Jan 2014-2016. Demographic and laboratory data were collected. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed to determine average EFT and PFT at the standard parasternal long-axis view at end-systole for 3 cardiac cycles. SCA was performed on the same day. The patients were divided into two groups: CAD (n=59) and non-CAD (n=41) based on presence or absence of epicardial coronary artery stenosis of > 50%. Chi-square, independent T-test, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve were used by SPSS Version 16 for data analysis. 

Results: One hundred patients (44 women and 56 men) with an average age of 56.4 ± 9.9 years were studied. The two groups were not significantly different in demographic profile and cronary risk factors. While PFT was not significantly different between the two groups, EFT was significantly higher in CAD group (3.0 ± 3.69 vs. 1.2 ± 3.6, p <0.0001). Moreover, with the increase of the affected coronary arteries, EFT increased (p <0.0001). Gensini score had a strong correlation with amount of EFT (r = 0.765, p <0.0001). EFT with a cutoff value of 4.25 mm (sensitivity=79%, specificity=68%) was specified in predicting CAD. 

Conclusion: EFT measured by echocardiography can be used as an independent marker to predict CAD. More studies are needed to determine the predictive role of PFT for CAD.


Keywords: Epicardial fat thickness, Pericardial fat thickness, Coronary artery disease, Echocardiography
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