Pericardial fat is associated with ventricular tachyarrhythmia andmortality in patients with systolic heart failure

Cho Kai Wu, Hao Yuan Tsai, Mao Yuan M. Su, Yi Fan Wu, Juey Jen Hwang, Wen Yih Tseng, Jiunn Lee Lin, Lian Yu Lin

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Pericardial fat (PF) has been hypothesized to exert local pathogenic effects on nearby cardiac structures above and beyond that of systemic adiposity which might be associated with the presence of arrhythmia or even worse outcomes. The aims of this study was to characterize the relationship between PF and the prognosis in patients with systolic heart failure (HF). Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) database from 2004 to 2011. Fifty patients with systolic HF underwent CMRI examinations were included. We also enrolled twenty patients with HF as the control group. The cine imaging was analyzed to derive total PF volumes, left ventricular volumes and mass and left ventricular ejection fraction by using a previously validated technique. The outcomes, including ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular fibrillation (VF) and total mortality were obtained by reviewing medical records. Results: After a median follow-up of 694 days, patients with VT/VF had significant larger indexed PF volumes than those without [36.3 (32.8-43.1) ml/m2 vs. 24.1 (20.2-27.6) ml/m2, p=0.001]. The mortality group also had significant larger indexed PF volumes (PF/body surface area) than those without [31.3 (22.8-38.4) ml/m2 vs. 23.9 (19.8-27.3) ml/m2, p=0.010]. Indexed PF volumes were associated with the development of VT/VF (Hazard ratio, 7.510; 95% C.I, 0.901-62.582, p=0.062) and mortality (Hazard ratio, 3.998; 95% C.I, 1.077-14.845, p=0.038) by Cox's regression analyses. Conclusion: PF is associated with the development of VT/VF and long-term overall mortality in patients with systolic HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-614
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Adipose tissue
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pericardial fat
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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