Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) has been recognized as a sensitive marker of cardiometabolic risk. Recent evidence suggests efficacy of long-term statin therapy in reducing EAT in patients with coronary artery disease. Whether short-term statin therapy is associated with changes in the volume of EAT is currently unknown. A cohort of patients with atrial fibrillation who underwent pulmonary vein isolation were randomized to receive either 80 mg/day of atorvastatin (n = 38, 32 men, age 56 ± 11 years) or placebo (n = 41, 33 men, age 56 ± 10 years) for a 3-month period. EAT volume was assessed by cardiac computed tomography at baseline and at follow-up. Patients randomized to statin treatment exhibited a modest but significant decrease in median EAT volume (baseline vs follow-up: 92.3 cm3 [62.0 to 133.3] vs 86.9 cm3 [64.1 to 124.8], p <0.05), whereas median EAT remained unchanged in the placebo group (81.9 cm3 [55.5 to 110.9] vs 81.3 cm3 [57.1 to 110.5], p = NS). Changes in median systemic inflammatory markers and lipid profile were also seen with statin treatment: C-reactive protein (2.4 mg/L [0.7 to 3.7] vs 1.1 mg/L [0.5 to 2.7], p <0.05), total cholesterol (186 mg/dL [162.5 to 201] vs 123 mg/dL [99 to 162.5], p <0.001), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (116 mg/dL [96.5 to 132.5] vs 56 [40.5 to 81] mg/dL, p <0.001) diminished, whereas median body mass index did not change (27.8 kg/m2 [25 to 30] versus 27.6 kg/m2 [25.7 to 30.5], p = NS). No variations occurred in the placebo group. In conclusion, short-term intensive statin therapy significantly reduced the volume of EAT in patients with atrial fibrillation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine