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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 May;19(5):1028-34. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.246. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Pericardial fat amount is an independent risk factor of coronary artery stenosis assessed by multidetector-row computed tomography: the Korean Atherosclerosis Study 2.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Pericardial fat surrounding the heart and coronary arteries might aggravate vessel wall inflammation and stimulate the progression of coronary atherosclerosis. However, there has been little comprehensive evaluation of the effects of pericardial fat on coronary artery disease (CAD). We investigated the relationship between pericardial fat volume and the severity of coronary artery stenosis assessed by computed tomography and angiography among patients with suspected CAD. Participants from the cohort of the Korean Atherosclerosis Study 2 (n = 402, mean age of 54 years, 57.0% men) underwent 64-slice multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) to assess pericardial fat amount, coronary artery calcium score (CACS), severity of coronary artery stenosis, and plaque characteristics. Patients with atherosclerotic lesion had significantly larger volume of pericardial fat than patients without atherosclerosis (308 ± 96 cm(3) vs. 251 ± 93 cm(3); P < 0.01). In a multivariate regression analysis adjusting for age, gender and BMI, subjects with more pericardial fat had a higher risk for significant (>50%) stenosed coronary vessels (odds ratio (OR) = 1.012; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.001-1.030; P = 0.017). This association remained after adjusting for hypertension, diabetes, smoking status, and lipid profiles (OR = 1.007; 95% CI 1.001-1.014; P = 0.042). In conclusion, an increased pericardial fat volume was an independent risk factor for stenotic CAD and could be helpful in assessing subclinical CADs.

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