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Epicardial adipose tissue in obesity-related cardiac dysfunction
  1. Sarah L Ayton,
  2. Gaurav S Gulsin,
  3. Gerry P McCann,
  4. Alastair J Moss
  1. Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alastair J Moss, Department of Cardiovascular Science, University of Leicester College of Life Sciences, Leicester LE3 9QP, UK; alastairmoss{at}


Obesity is associated with the development of heart failure and is a major risk factor for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) is a unique visceral fat in close proximity to the heart and is of particular interest to the study of cardiac disease. Small poorly differentiated adipocytes with altered lipid:water content are associated with a proinflammatory secretome and may contribute to the pathophysiology observed in HFpEF. Multimodality imaging approaches can be used to quantify EAT volume and characterise EAT composition. Current research studies remain unclear as to the magnitude of effect that EAT plays on myocardial dysfunction and further work using multimodality imaging techniques is ongoing. Pharmacological interventions, including glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists and sodium-dependent glucose linked transporter 2 inhibitors have shown promise in attenuating the deleterious metabolic and inflammatory changes seen in EAT. Clinical studies are ongoing to explore whether these therapies exert their beneficial effects by modifying this unique adipose deposit.

  • heart failure
  • diastolic
  • metabolic syndrome
  • inflammation
  • biomarkers

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  • Contributors SLA drafted the first manuscript. GSG, GPM and AJM made critical revisions to the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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