Recent studies have suggested that pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) located in close vicinity to the epicardial coronary arteries may play a role in the development of coronary artery disease. PAT has primarily been measured with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) or with non-contrast cardiac multidetector computered tomography (MDCT) images. The aim of this study was to validate contrast MDCT derived measures of total PAT volume by a comparison to CMRI. In 52 patients, aged 60 years (34-81 years), Body Mass Index 28 kg/m(2) (18-39), and with stable ischemic heart disease, paired MDCT and CMRI scans were performed. The optimal fit for measuring PAT using contrast MDCT was developed and validated by the corresponding measures on CMRI. The median for PAT volume in patients was 175 ml (SD 68) and 153 ml (SD 60) measured by MDCT and CMRI respectively. Four different attenuation values were tested, and the smallest difference in PAT was noted when -30 to -190 HU were used in MDCT measures. The median difference between MDCT and CMRI for the assessment of PAT was 9 ml (SD 50) suggesting a reasonable robust method for the assessment of PAT in a large-scale study. Pericardial adipose tissue can be measured on standard coronary CT angiography images with a reasonable degree of accuracy when compared to CMRI.
International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging, 2013, Vol 29, Issue 6, p. 1401-1407