Epicardial fat thickness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis|
Fatma, Erdem; Bünyamin, Koç; Savas, Sarikaya; Mehmet, Uçar; Selma, Yazıcı; Ismail, Boyraz; Sabri, Caglar; Gulzade, Ozyalvacli; Ibrahim, Dönmez & Mehmet, Yazici
Background: Epidemiologic data indicates that rheumatoid arthritis is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Epicardial adipose tissue is a novel cardio-metabolic risk factor. Our aim was to evaluate epicardial fat thickness (EFT) using
echocardiography in patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared to healthy control subjects. Secondly, we investigated relationship
between epicardial fat thickness and clinical and echocardiographic parameters in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Method: The study population included 76 consecutive patients with rheumatoid arthritis (64 female; mean age, 53 ±11
years, median disease duration, 7.8 years) and 50 healthy subjects as controls (39 female; mean age, 52 ± 6 years). All patients
underwent echocardiography to assess left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, left ventricular hypertrophy and EFT. All values
were compared between groups.
Results: EFT was higher in rheumatoid arthritis patients than in healthy controls (0.66±0.20 vs. 0.54±0.18; p= 0.003).
Thickness of Intra Ventricular Septum (IVS) (1.1±0.06 and 9.8±0.08; p=0.001) and posterior wall (PW) (0.98±0.05 and
0.93±0.08; p=0.015) was higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared to healthy controls. Early diastolic myocardiac
peak velocity or late diastolic mitral peak velocity (E/A) ratio was lower in rheumatoid arthritis patients compared
to healthy patients (1.1 ±0.8 and 1.24±0.1 p=0.001) as well as, E/e’ was higher in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients than
healthy patients. (E/e’:8.7±1.6 and 8.0±1.4 p=0.020). In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, EFT was positively correlated
with hypertension and duration of disease and E/e’ (r: 0.10, p: 0.010, r: 0.306, p: 0.004 and r: 0.465 p: 0.007 respectively) and
EFT was negatively correlated with E/A (r: -.262 p:0.022 )
Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first report about epicardial adipose tissue in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Epicardial fat thickness as an indicator of cardiovascular involvement was higher in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis; epicardial fat thickness; cardiac involvement