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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Association of epicardial fat with left ventricular diastolic function in subjects with metabolic syndrome: assessment using 2-dimensional echocardiography

Hyo Eun Park, Su-Yeon Choi* and Minkyung Kim

Author Affiliations

Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital, 39th FL. Gangnam Finance Center, 737 Yeoksam-dong Gangnam-gu 135-984, Seoul, Korea

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-3

Published: 9 January 2014



Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is related with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) and poor cardiovascular outcome. Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) thickness, measured by echocardiography, is increased in subjects with MetS. However, the association of EAT with LV diastolic function has not been evaluated in subjects with MetS.


In this retrospective study, EAT thickness was measured in 1,486 consecutive asymptomatic patients with no known heart disease who had transthoracic echocardiography during a self-referred healthcare exam. Subjects with a history of ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy or significant valvular heart disease were excluded. LVDD was defined as E/e’ ratio ≥ 15. Subjects were grouped into two groups, those with MetS and those without.


MetS was present in 346 subjects. There was no difference in LV systolic function between the two groups. However compared to patients without MetS, patients with MetS had larger left atrium (LA) size and higher E/e’ ratio (38 ± 5 versus 35 ± 5 mm for LA and 10.0 ± 3.3 versus 8.7 ± 2.7 for E/e’ ratio in subjects with versus without MetS both p < 0.001). LVDD was found in 27 (7.8%) subjects with MetS, compared to 30 (2.6%) subjects without MetS (p < 0.001). In subjects with MetS, EAT was significantly correlated with LVDD, even after adjusting for other cardiometabolic risk factors such as age, systolic blood pressure, BMI, blood glucose and LDL cholesterol (OR 1.845, 95% CI 1.153-2.951, p = 0.011).


Greater EAT is found in subjects with MetS. EAT is significantly associated with LVDD in subjects with MetS, even after adjusting for other risk factors.

Epicardial fat; Diastolic function; Metabolic syndrome