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INTRODUCTION: Accumulation of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) and increased risk of coronary events in asymptomatic subjects and low-risk patients, suggesting that EAT promotes atherosclerosis in its early stage. Recent studies have shown that the presence of CAD affects the properties of adjacent EAT, leading to dynamic changes in the molecular players involved in the interplay between EAT and the coronary arteries over the history of the disease. The role of EAT in late-stage CAD has not been investigated. OBJECTIVES: In a comparative analysis with mediastinal and subcutaneous adipose tissue, we aim to investigate whether the volume of EAT assessed by computed tomography and its proteome assessed by SWATH-MS mass spectrometry are associated with late stages of CAD in an elderly cohort of severe aortic stenosis patients. METHODS: The EPICHEART study (NCT03280433) is a prospective study enrolling patients with severe degenerative aortic stenosis referred for elective aortic valve replacement, whose protocol includes preoperative clinical, nutritional, echocardiographic, cardiac computed tomography and invasive coronary angiographic assessments. During cardiac surgery, samples of EAT and mediastinal and subcutaneous thoracic adipose tissue are collected for proteomics analysis by SWATH-MS. In addition, pericardial fluid and peripheral and coronary sinus blood samples are collected to identify circulating and local adipose tissue-derived biomarkers of CAD. CONCLUSION: We designed a translational study to explore the association of EAT quantity and quality with advanced CAD. We expect to identify new biochemical factors and biomarkers in the crosstalk between EAT and the coronary arteries that are involved in the pathogenesis of late coronary atherosclerosis, especially coronary calcification, which might be translated into new therapeutic targets and imaging tools by biomedical engineering.

Original publication




Journal article


Rev Port Cardiol (Engl Ed)

Publication Date





625 - 633


Aterosclerose coronária, Computed tomography, Coronary atherosclerosis, EPICHEART study, Epicardial adipose tissue, Espectrometria de massa, Estudo EPICHEART, Mass spectrometry, Proteomics, Tecido adiposo epicárdico, Tomografia computadorizada, Adipose Tissue, Aged, Coronary Artery Disease, Humans, Pericardium, Prospective Studies, Proteomics