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Atherosclerosis. 2010 Aug;211(2):596-600. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2010.02.036. Epub 2010 Mar 4.

Is epicardial fat tissue a marker of metabolic syndrome in obese children?

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Medical Faculty, University of Rzeszów, 35-205 Rzeszów, ul. Warszawska 26a, Poland.



The goal of the study was to assess the association between epicardial fat (EF) thickness and waist circumference, insulin resistance and other metabolic syndrome components in obese children.


52 obese children (23 males and 29 females) in the mean age 11.6 + or - 2.87 years were studied. Their mean BMI was 26.17 + or - 2.13. Control group included 54 normal weight children (22 males and 32 females) in the mean age 12.85 + or - 2.15 years (BMI -18.55 + or - 2.71). Obesity was defined according to IOTF criteria. EF thickness on the right ventricle was obtained in all children by two-dimensional M-mode echocardiogram. In obese children systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure was measured and fasting serum triglycerides, low- and high-density lipoproteins, cholesterol, and glucose and insulin levels were measured. Metabolic syndrome was determined according to IDF 2007 criteria.


We documented a statistically significant correlation between epicardial fat BMI z-score and waist circumference in both groups. No statistically significant correlation between EF thickness and HOMA Index was found. There was also no statistically significant difference in EF thickness between obese children with or without metabolic syndrome.


Although EF in overweight children is a good indicator of visceral fat it does not seem to be the independent predictor of metabolic syndrome in this age group. The lack of relationship of EF thickness with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome suggests that in children the prognostic value of this fat tissue may differ from that in adults.

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