Epicardial adipose tissue and subclinical incident atrial fibrillation as detected by continuous monitoring: a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging study

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Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) has endocrine and paracrine functions and has been associated with metabolic and cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to investigate the association between EAT, determined by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR), and incident atrial fibrillation (AF) following long-term continuous heart rhythm monitoring by implantable loop recorder (ILR). This study is a sub-study of the LOOP study. In total, 203 participants without a history of AF received an ILR and underwent advanced CMR. All participants were at least 70 years of age at inclusion and had at least one of the following conditions: hypertension, diabetes, previous stroke, or heart failure. Volumetric measurements of atrial- and ventricular EAT were derived from CMR and the time to incident AF was subsequently determined. A total of 78 participants (38%) were diagnosed with subclinical AF during a median of 40 (37–42) months of continuous monitoring. In multivariable Cox regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, and various comorbidities, we found EAT indexed to body surface area to be independently associated with the time to AF with hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) up to 2.93 (1.36–6.34); p = 0.01 when analyzing the risk of new-onset AF episodes lasting ≥ 24 h. Atrial EAT assessed by volumetric measurements on CMR images was significantly associated with the incident AF episodes as detected by ILR.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Pages (from-to) 591–599
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Atrial fibrillation, Cardiac magnetic resonance, Epicardial adipose tissue

ID: 380658194