The association of pericardial fat with coronary artery plaque index at MR imaging: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Cuilian Miao, Shaoguang Chen, Jingzhong Ding, Kiang Liu, Debiao Li, Robson Macedo, Shenghan Lai, Jens Vogel-Claussen, Elizabeth R. Brown, João A.C. Lima, David Alan Bluemke

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39 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the relationship of pericardial fat, which secretes proinfl ammatory markers that have been implicated in coronary atherosclerosis, with atherosclerotic plaque in an asymptomatic population-based cohort. Materials and Methods: In this institutional review board-approved study, all participants supplied written informed consent. One hundred eighty-three participants (89 women, 94 men; mean age, 61 years ± 9 [standard deviation]) from the communitybased Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) were included. The coronary artery eccentricity (ratio of maximal to minimal coronary artery wall thickness) was determined by using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and served as an index of plaque burden. The pericardial fat volume was determined by using computed tomography. Linear regression coeffi cient analysis was used to correlate pericardial fat volume with coronary artery wall thickness and plaque eccentricity. Results: Pericardial fat volume correlated signifi cantly with degree of plaque eccentricity ( P < .05) in both men and women. After adjustments for body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, traditional risk factors, C-reactive protein level, and coronary artery calcium content, the relationship between pericardial fat and plaque eccentricity remained signifi cant in men ( P < .01) but not in women. BMI and waist circumference correlated with degree of plaque eccentricity in the univariate model ( P < .05) but not after adjustment for pericardial fat volume or traditional risk factors. Conclusion: Pericardial fat volume, rather than BMI and waist circumference, was more strongly related to plaque eccentricity as a measure of coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden. The results support the proposed role of pericardial fat in association with atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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