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Effect of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus on Epicardial Adipose Tissue Volume and Coronary Vasomotor Function

The American Journal of Cardiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.09.022
  • Medicine


Patients with coronary artery disease and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) generally exhibit more epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) than healthy controls. Recently, it has been proposed that EAT affects vascular function and structure by secreting proinflammatory and vasoactive substances, thereby potentially contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease. In the present study, the interrelation of EAT, coronary vasomotor function, and coronary artery calcium was investigated in patients with and without DM, who were evaluated for coronary artery disease. Myocardial blood flow (MBF) was assessed at rest and during adenosine-induced hyperemia using [15O]-water positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography to quantify coronary artery calcium and EAT in 199 patients (46 with DM). In this cohort (mean age 58 ± 10 years), the patients with DM had a greater body mass index, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure at rest (all p <0.05). Coronary artery calcium and the EAT volumes were comparable between those with and without DM. Both patient groups showed comparable MBF at rest and coronary vascular resistance. A lower hyperemic MBF and coronary flow reserve (CFR) and greater hyperemic coronary vascular resistance (all p <0.05) was observed in the patients with DM. A pooled analysis showed a positive association of EAT volume with hyperemic coronary vascular resistance but not with the MBF at rest, hyperemic MBF, or coronary vascular resistance at rest. In the group analysis, the EAT volume was inversely associated with hyperemic MBF (r = −0.16, p = 0.05) and CFR (r = −0.17, p = 0.04) and positively with hyperemic coronary vascular resistance (r = 0.26, p = 0.002) only in patients without DM. Multivariate regression analysis, adjusted for age, gender, and body mass index, showed an independent association between the EAT volume and hyperemic MBF (β = −0.16, p = 0.02), CFR (β = −0.16, p = 0.04), and hyperemic coronary vascular resistance (β = 0.25, p <0.001) in the non-DM group. In conclusion, these results suggest a role for EAT in myocardial microvascular dysfunction; however, once DM has developed, other factors might be more dominant in contributing to impaired myocardial microvascular dysfunction.

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