Studies have shown a modest association between pericardial fat volume (PFV) and coronary artery disease (CAD), potentially mediated by local inflammation. We aimed to investigate the association between a new biomarker of pericardial fat inflammation, named pericardial fat enhancement (PFE), and the severity of CAD on coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA).
Materials and Methods:
We evaluated 114 patients referred for CCTA from 2007 to 2011. PFV, presence of obstructive CAD, and the burden of CAD were determined. PFE was measured in 10 mm2 regions of interest, adjusted to aortic enhancement (aPFE). The population was divided into those with greater than median (G-PFE) versus less than median pericardial fat enhancement (L-PFE). Stratified adjusted logistic regressions were performed. A P-value <0.05 was considered significant. The study was approved by our institutional review board.
Patients were 54.3±14.8 years of age, and 57/114 (50%) were male individuals, with body mass index of 27.3±6.3. There was an independent association between CAD severity and PFV. There was a significant independent association between PFV and obstructive CAD (odds ratio=1.26, P=0.005), and PFV and burden of CAD (odds ratio=1.25, P=0.05) in those with greater PFE. However, there was no significant association between obstructive CAD and CAD burden in either adjusted model for patients with less PFE.
Our results suggest that PFE influences significantly the relationship between PFV and CAD, supporting the hypothesis of local pericardial fat inflammation as a mechanism for CAD development.