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Azza MA et al.  
Echocardiographic Assessment of Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Obese Children and Its Relation to Clinical Parameters of the Metabolic Syndrome

Journal of Clinical and Basic Cardiology 2011; 14 (1-4): 7-11

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Fig. 1: EAT Fig. 2: Epicardial adipose tissue thickness - Waist Fig. 3: Epicardial adipose tissue thickness - Metabolic syndrome

Keywords: childhood obesityepicardial adipose tissuemetabolic syndrome

and to study the relationship of EAT to other echocardiographic findings and to clinical parameters of the metabolic syndrome (MS) in children. Patients and Methods: This study included 74 obese children and adolescents from the patient sample attending the obesity clinic of the National Research Center. Metabolic syndrome was determined according to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) 2007 criteria. 40 lean children were included in the study as a control group. All children were subjected to clinical assessment including standing height, body weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) plus an echocardiographic examination with measurement of EAT thickness and biochemical parameters (fasting glucose, insulin, HOMA index, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-C, and LDL-C). Results: BMI, SDS BMI, WC, HC, and HOMA index were significantly higher in obese compared to lean children (p = 0.001). Left atrial (LA) diameter, septal posterior wall thickness, relative wall thickness, and left ventricular mass (LVM) were increased in the obese compared to the non-obese group while LV systolic and diastolic functions did not differ in obese versus lean children (p > 0.05). Patients had significantly thicker EAT compared to controls (p = 0.01). There was a significant correlation between EAT thickness in comparison to BMI, WC, HC, LA diameter, LVM, HOMA, triglycerides, and LDL-C. No significant difference in EAT thickness between obese patients with or without metabolic syndrome was found. Conclusion: Assessment of EAT thickness in routine echocardiographic examinations might be a feasible and reliable method for the evaluation of obesity and its related cardiovascular risks during childhood. There is no significant association between EAT thickness and metabolic syndrome in obese children.
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