Epicardial Adipose Tissue Thickness in Patients With Subclinical Hypothyroidism and the Relationship Thereof With Visceral Adipose Tissue Thickness

Dilek Arpaci, Aysel Gurkan Tocoglu, Sabiye Yilmaz, Sumeyye Korkmaz, Hasan Ergenc, Huseyin Gunduz, Nurgul Keser, Ali Tamer


Background: Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is associated with cardiovascular metabolic syndromes, especially dislipidemia and abdominal obesity. Visceral abdominal adipose tissue (VAAT) and epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) have the same ontogenic origin and produce many proinflammatory and proatherogenic cytokines. We evaluated EAT and VAAT thickness in patients with SH.

Methods: Forty-one patients with SH and 35 controls were included in the study. Demographical and anthropometric features of both patients and controls were recorded. Thyroid and metabolic parameters were measured. EAT was measured using 2D-transthoracic echocardiography.

Results: The age and gender distributions were similar in the two groups (P = 0.998 and P = 0.121, respectively). Body mass index (BMI), fat mass, waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), the WC/HC ratio, and the thicknesses of VAAT and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue were higher in the case group than the control group (all P values < 0.01). However, both groups had similar EAT thickness (P = 0.532), which was positively correlated with BMI, fat mass, WC, HC, VAAT thickness, abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness, and serum triglyceride (TG) level (all P values < 0.01). We found no correlation between EAT thickness and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level, free thyroxine (FT4) level, or low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) level, and anti-TPO level (all P values > 0.05). We found no difference between the two groups in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level (P = 0.780), but the levels of LDL-C and TG differed significantly (P = 0.002 and P = 0.026, respectively). The serum TSH level was higher and the FT4 level was lower in the case than the control group (both P values <0.01).

Conclusion: Increased abdominal adipose tissue thickness in patients with SH is associated with atherosclerosis. To detemine the risk of atherosclerosis in such patients, EAT measurements are valuable; such assessment is simple to perform.

J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(3):215-219
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2460w


Epicardial adipose tissue; Adipose tissue thickness; Subclinical hypothyroidism

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