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Epicardial adipose tissue: an emerging biomarker of cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetes?

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


  1. Hypoglycaemia and cardiac arrhythmias in diabetes

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  2. The many-faced hurdle of cardiac involvement in diabetes: where to focus?

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure, which highlights the need for improved understanding of factors contributing to the pathophysiology of these complications as they are the leading cause of mortality in T2D. Patients with T2D have high levels of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT). EAT is known to secrete inflammatory factors, lipid metabolites, and has been proposed to apply mechanical stress on the cardiac muscle that may accelerate atherosclerosis, cardiac remodeling, and heart failure. High levels of EAT in patients with T2D have been associated with atherosclerosis, diastolic dysfunction, and incident cardiovascular events, and this fat depot has been suggested as an important link coupling diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Despite this, the predictive potential of EAT in general, and in patients with diabetes, is yet to be established, and, up until now, the clinical relevance of EAT is therefore limited. Should this link be established, importantly, studies show that this fat depot can be modified both by pharmacological and lifestyle interventions. In this review, we first introduce the role of adipose tissue in T2D and present mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of EAT and pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) in general, and in patients with T2D. Next, we summarize the evidence that these fat depots are elevated in patients with T2D, and discuss whether they might drive the high cardiometabolic risk in patients with T2D. Finally, we discuss the clinical potential of cardiac adipose tissues, address means to target this depot, and briefly touch upon underlying mechanisms and future research questions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Pages (from-to)2042018820928824
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s), 2020.

    Research areas

  • epicardial adipose tissue, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cardiac adipose tissue, pericardial adipose tissue

ID: 61392715