The Role of Epicardial Adipose Tissue in the Development of Atrial Fibrillation, Coronary Artery Disease and Chronic Heart Failure in the Context of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Narrative Review

Krishnan, Anirudh, Sharma, Harman, Yuan, Daniel, Trollope, Alex, and Chilton, Lisa (2022) The Role of Epicardial Adipose Tissue in the Development of Atrial Fibrillation, Coronary Artery Disease and Chronic Heart Failure in the Context of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Narrative Review. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease, 9. 217.

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Abstract

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a significant burden globally and are especially prevalent in obese and/or diabetic populations. Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) surrounding the heart has been implicated in the development of CVDs as EAT can shift from a protective to a maladaptive phenotype in diseased states. In diabetic and obese patients, an elevated EAT mass both secretes pro-fibrotic/pro-inflammatory adipokines and forms intramyocardial fibrofatty infiltrates. This narrative review considers the proposed pathophysiological roles of EAT in CVDs. Diabetes is associated with a disordered energy utilization in the heart, which promotes intramyocardial fat and structural remodeling. Fibrofatty infiltrates are associated with abnormal cardiomyocyte calcium handling and repolarization, increasing the probability of afterdepolarizations. The inflammatory phenotype also promotes lateralization of connexin (Cx) proteins, undermining unidirectional conduction. These changes are associated with conduction heterogeneity, together creating a substrate for atrial fibrillation (AF). EAT is also strongly implicated in coronary artery disease (CAD); inflammatory adipokines from peri-vascular fat can modulate intra-luminal homeostasis through an “outside-to-inside” mechanism. EAT is also a significant source of sympathetic neurotransmitters, which promote progressive diastolic dysfunction with eventual cardiac failure. Further investigations on the behavior of EAT in diabetic/obese patients with CVD could help elucidate the pathogenesis and uncover potential therapeutic targets.

Item ID: 75433
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2308-3425
Keywords: epicardial adipose tissue, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, diagnostic imaging, adipokines, fibrofatty infiltrates, inflammatory adipose phenotype, intramyocardial fat
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2022 23:21
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320101 Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200101 Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions @ 33%
20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200104 Prevention of human diseases and conditions @ 33%
20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 34%
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