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Jan Nilsson


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Association of Epicardial Fat Volume With the Extent of Coronary Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Adverse Events in Asymptomatic Patients With Diabetes


  • Shreenidhi M. Venuraju
  • Avijit Lahiri
  • Anand Jeevarethinam
  • Roby D. Rakhit
  • Prediman K. Shah
  • Jan Nilsson

Summary, in English

Epicardial adipose tissue has a paracrine effect, enhancing coronary artery atherosclerotic plaque development. This study evaluated epicardial fat volume (EFV), adipokines, coronary atherosclerosis, and adverse cardiovascular events in a cohort of asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Epicardial fat volume was calculated using data from computed tomography coronary angiograms. Adipokines and inflammatory cytokines were also assayed and correlated with EFV. Epicardial fat volume was also assessed as a predictor of coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, number of coronary artery plaques, and significant plaque (>50% luminal stenosis). Data from the EFV analysis were available for 221 (85.7%) participants. Median EFV was 97.4 cm3, mean body mass index was 28.1 kg/m2, and mean duration of T2DM was 13 years. Statistically significant, but weak, correlations were observed between several adipokines, inflammatory cytokines, and EFV. Epicardial fat volume was a significant univariate (P =.01), but not multivariate, predictor of the number of coronary plaques, but not of CAC score or significant plaque. After a mean follow-up of 22.8 months, 12 adverse cardiovascular events were reported, exclusively in participants with EFV >97.4 cm3. Epicardial fat volume has limited utility as a marker of coronary artery plaque in patients with T2DM and is weakly correlated with adipokine expression.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • EXODIAB: Excellence in Diabetes Research in Sweden

Publishing year






Document type

Journal article


SAGE Publications


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • biomarkers
  • coronary angiography
  • coronary atherosclerosis
  • epicardial adipose tissue thickness
  • major adverse cardiac events
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis


  • ISSN: 0003-3197