Epicardial fat tissue (EFT)?is the fat tissue that is located between the myocardium and visceral pericardium; it is known to secrete hormones such as pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines (adipokine). Adiponectin, one of the hormone secreted by EFT reduced in different pathologic conditions, including ischemic heart disease and AF.?
Epicardial fat tissue was reported to be a predictor of cardiac arrhythmias in different clinical situations. However, there were very few studies which assessed the role of EFT thickness in the development of AF in patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.
A group of researchers aimed to study the relationship between EFT thickness and the development of new-onset AF in patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). The study was a cross-sectional and retrospective study.
About 493 consecutive patients who were diagnosed with NSTEMI were included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 61±13 years and 303 patients were men. 68 patients developed AF during the in-hospital follow-up. Remaining 425 patients were determined as the control group.
For the risk assessment, the thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) risk score was used. The demographics, laboratory investigations were assessed using case report forms (CRF) of the respective patients. Comparisons between the 2 groups for all the clinical, echocardiographic, and laboratory parameters were made. For comparison of categorical data, the chi-square or Fisher exact tests were used.
AF Group has higher EFT thickness than that in the controls (p<0.001). Also, the thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) risk score was higher in AF group. According to the logistic regression analysis, EFT was an independent determinant for the development of AF (odds ratio 3.521, 95% confidence interval 1.616-6.314, p<0.001).
Therefore, EFT is a simple, cheap, and non-invasive tool for predicting cardiac arrhythmias.
According to the authors, the incidence of AF was more frequent in patients with NSTEMI and higher EFT thickness. And the EFT thickness was important in determining AF in patients with NSTEMI.