Published in

MDPI, Diagnostics, 2(11), p. 362, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics11020362



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Cardiac Adiposity and Arrhythmias: The Role of Imaging

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Increased cardiac fat depots are metabolically active tissues that have a pronounced pro-inflammatory nature. Increasing evidence supports a potential role of cardiac adiposity as a determinant of the substrate of atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. The underlying mechanism appears to be multifactorial with local inflammation, fibrosis, adipocyte infiltration, electrical remodeling, autonomic nervous system modulation, oxidative stress and gene expression playing interrelating roles. Current imaging modalities, such as echocardiography, computed tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance, have provided valuable insight into the relationship between cardiac adiposity and arrhythmogenesis, in order to better understand the pathophysiology and improve risk prediction of the patients, over the presence of obesity and traditional risk factors. However, at present, given the insufficient data for the additive value of imaging biomarkers on commonly used risk algorithms, the use of different screening modalities currently is indicated for personalized risk stratification and prognostication in this setting.