Increased Epicardial Fat Volume Is Independently Associated with the Presence and Severity of Systemic Sclerosis

Academic Article


  • Rationale and Objectives The study aimed to determine if intrathoracic fat volumes are associated with the presence and severity of systemic sclerosis (SSc), defined by the presence of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Materials and Methods A total of 265 patients were included in the study, 202 of whom had SSc (134 had SSc with no PAH and 68 had SSc-associated PAH) and who underwent high-resolution computed tomography, and 63 controls who underwent coronary computed tomography angiography with calcium scoring. Intrathoracic and epicardial (EFV) fat volumes were quantified by manual tracing of the mediastinum and the pericardium, the difference of which represents the extrapericardial fat volume. Associations between these three fat volumes and the presence and severity of SSc, adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors and interstitial lung disease, were evaluated by logistic regression analysis. Results Of the 202 patients with SSc, the mean age was 55 years (ranged from 20 to 86), and 79% (159 of 202) were women. Adjusted EFV (odds ratio [OR]: 1.065; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.046–1.084, P = < 0.0001), extrapericardial fat volume (OR: 1.028, 95% CI: 1.017–1.038, P = < 0.0001), and intrathoracic fat volume (OR: 1.033, 95% CI: 1.023–1.043, P = 0.001) were associated with the presence of SSc. Only EFV was associated with SSc severity (adjusted OR: 1.010, 95% CI: 1.003–1.018, P = 0.007). Conclusion Increased epicardial fat volume is associated with the presence and severity of SSc, independent of cardiovascular risk factors and interstitial lung disease.
  • Published In

  • Academic Radiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 325717
  • Author List

  • Long BD; Stojanovska J; Brown RKJ; Attili AK; Jackson EA; Ognenovski V
  • Start Page

  • 1473
  • End Page

  • 1481
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 12