Adiposity in HFpEF

Publication: Epicardial Adipose Tissue and Outcome in Heart Failure

In a study by Gijs van Woerden and Thomas Gorter published in Circulation: Heart Failure, it is shown that accumulation of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) is strongly associated with poor prognosis in patients with heart failure with mildly-reduced or preserved ejection fraction (HFmrEF;HFpEF), independent of overall obesity. This finding underscores the importance of EAT in these HF patients. Other members from Groningen Cardiology involved in this project are Dirk Jan van Veldhuisen, Michiel Rienstra, Daan Westenbrink, and Rudolf de Boer.

Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT), the fat tissue directly adjacent to the heart, is increasingly acknowledged for playing an important role in heart failure with mildly-reduced or preserved ejection fraction (HFmrEF; HFpEF). However, it is unknown whether accumulation of EAT is associated with an adverse prognosis in these HF patients. We therefore investigated the prognostic value of EAT volume measured on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in patients with HFmrEF and HFpEF.

In 105 patients with HFmrEF and HFpEF, who participated in the prospective VIP-HF study, we found that accumulation of EAT was strongly associated with an adverse prognosis, which was the combined outcome of HF hospitalizations and all-cause mortality. Importantly, this association was independent of body mass index, HF severity and comorbidities. Lastly, obese patients with high EAT volume had a significantly higher event rate than obese patients with low EAT volume. These data support the concept that accumulation of EAT is important in the pathophysiology of HFmrEF and HFpEF and the assessment  of EAT may therefore be considered in the work-up of these patients with HF.

Read the open access article here!

“These findings support that measurement of epicardial adipose tissue should be considered in patients with HFmrEF and HFpEF as part of clinical work-up”