Comparison of epicardial fat volume by computed tomography in black versus white patients with acute chest pain

Paul Apfaltrer, Andreas Schindler, U. Joseph Schoepf, John W. Nance, Francesco Tricarico, Ullrich Ebersberger, Andrew D. McQuiston, Mathias Meyer, Thomas Henzler, Stefan O. Schoenberg, Fabian Bamberg, Rozemarijn Vliegenthart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Disparities in the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) between races may be influenced by differences in the thoracic adipose tissue. We compared computed tomography (CT)-derived volumes of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT), mediastinal adipose tissue (MAT), and pericoronary fat thickness (PFT) and correlations with CAD between black and white patients. This institutional review board-approved Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant study included 372 age- and gender-matched black versus white patients (186 black, 54 ± 11 years, 50% men; 186 white, 54 ± 11 years, 50% men) who underwent CT for chest pain evaluation. EAT, MAT, and PFT were measured. The amount of coronary calcium was quantified as calcium score. CAD was defined as ≥50% coronary artery narrowing. EAT and MAT volumes were significantly lower in black than white patients (59 [twenty-fifth to seventy-fifth percentile 39 to 84] vs 97 [67 to 132] cm3 and 44 [27 to 77] vs 87 [52 to 157] cm3, for both p <0.001). Mean PFT in black patients was slightly lower than white patients (17.2 ± 3.2 vs 18.1 ± 3.4 mm, p <0.01). The relation between race and extent of adipose tissue remained significant after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors. Significant correlations were observed between EAT and MAT volumes and calcium score in black and white patients (r = 0.19 to 0.26, p <0.01). For both races, the level of thoracic fat measurements was higher in present versus absent coronary calcification. A greater amount of thoracic fat was found with obstructive CAD only in white patients. In conclusion, CT-derived measurements of thoracic fat differ between symptomatic black and white patients, suggesting a differential relation between thoracic adipose tissue and CAD pathophysiology by race.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-428
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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