Objectives:Epicardial fat was closely related to atrial fibrillation (AF). Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) has been proposed to be a convenient imaging tool in assessing epicardial adipose tissue (EAT). The goal of the present study was to investigate whether the EAT thickness measured on TTE was a useful parameter in predicting procedural outcomes of AF ablations.Methods and Results:A total of 227 paroxysmal AF (PAF) and 56 non-paroxysmal AF (non-PAF) patients receiving catheter ablations from 2008-2010 were enrolled. Echocardiography-derived regional EAT thickness from parasternal long-axis view was quantified for each patient. Free of recurrence was defined as the absence of atrial arrhythmias without using antiarrhythmic agents after ablations. The mean EAT thickness of the study population was 6.1 ± 0.8 mm. Non-PAF patients had a thicker EAT than that of PAF patients (7.0 ± 0.7 mm versus 5.9 ± 0.7 mm, p value <0.001). During the follow-up of 16 ± 9 months, there were 95 patients (33.6%) suffering from recurrences of atrial arrhythmias. Non-PAF, chads2 score, left atrial diameter and EAT thickness were independent predictors of recurrence after catheter ablations. At a cutoff value of 6 mm for PAF and 6.9 mm for non-PAF, the measurement of EAT thickness could help us to identify patients at risk of recurrences.Conclusions:EAT thickness may serve as a useful parameter in predicting recurrences after AF ablations. Compared to other imaging modalities, TTE can be an alternative choice with less cost and time in assessing the effects of EAT on ablation outcomes.
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