Objectives: The objective of the study was to evaluate the relationship of epicardial fat thickness (EFT) assessed by echocardiography with atrial fibrillation (AF) in a clinical setting.
Materials and methods: The study consisted of 58 AF patients who underwent echocardiography and a control group of 22 participants. The EFT thickness was measured on the free wall of the right ventricle from the parasternal long-axis view. The association between EFT and AF was studied by adjusting the risk factors for AF, including structural valvular diseases and multiple risk factors.
Results: EFT was significantly increased in patients with AF as compared to participants in the control group (6.5 ± 1.2 mm vs. 5.8 ± 1.0 mm, p=0.01). In subgroup analysis of different types of AF, EFT was significantly increased in permanent AF in relation to paroxysmal and persistent AF (6.8 ± 0.9 mm vs. 6,0 ± 1.2 mm and 5.8±1.2 respectively). In addition, EFT measurements were comparable between sinus rhythm, paroxysmal and persistent AF.
Conclusions: Epicardial fat thickness measured by echocardiography seems to be associated with the chronicity of AF.
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