Quantification of Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Patients Undergoing Hybrid Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

Epicardial adipose tissue volume (EAT-V) has been linked to atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrences after catheter ablation. We retrospectively studied the association between atrial EAT-V and outcome after hybrid AF ablation (epicardial surgical and endocardial catheter ablation).

On preoperative cardiac computed tomography angiography scans, the left atrium and right atrium were manually delineated using the open source ImageJ. With custom-made automated software, the number of pixels in the regions of interest on each slice was calculated. On the basis of the Hounsfield units, pixel size and slice thickness, EAT-V was computed and normalized in relation to the body surface area (BSA) and the myocardial tissue volume.

Eighty-five patients were included. Left atrial and right atrial EAT-V normalized to BSA were not significantly different between paroxysmal and persistent AF [0.84 (0.51-1.50) vs 0.81 (0.57-1.18), 1.74 (1.02-2.56) vs 1.55 (1.26-2.18), all P = 0.9], neither between the acute conduction block and no acute conduction block in the epicardial box lesion [0.92 (0.55-1.39) vs 0.72 (0.55-1.24), P = 0.5, right atrium not applicable], nor between the sinus rhythm and arrhythmia recurrence after 12 months [0.88 (0.55-1.48) vs 0.63 (0.47-1.10), 1.61 (1.11-2.50) vs 1.55 (1.20-2.20), all P > 0.1]. Left atrial EAT-V normalized to myocardial tissue volume was not different between the groups.

This study could neither confirm that EAT-V was predictive of recurrence of supraventricular arrhythmias in patients undergoing a hybrid AF ablation, nor that EAT-V was different between patients with paroxysmal AF and persistent and long-standing persistent AF. This suggests that EAT-V might not affect the outcome in surgical ablation procedures and therefore should not influence preoperative or intraoperative decision-making.

Source: European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery