Background: The relation of epicardial fat thickness (EFT) to coronary artery disease (CAD) has recently been reported in multiple studies. Echocardiography is a safe and relatively inexpensive and accessible approach to assess regional EFT, which can be performed easily in many centers. 
Objective: To determine the association between echocardiographic EFT and the presence or the absence of CAD. 
Methods: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis conducted on literature available in electronic databases up to March 2018. The articles measuring EFT by echocardiography in the right ventricular (RV) free wall were included in the study. The quality of the enrolled items was assessed using the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS) checklist. The analyses were performed using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis version 2 software. Cochran's Q test and I2 index were used to evaluate heterogeneity.
Results: This meta-analysis was performed on 13 studies involving 2,436 patients (1,622 with CAD, and 814 without CAD). The maximum EFT reported by echocardiography was 12.9±2.7 mm in the CAD group and 8.4±2.5 mm in the non-CAD group. The minimum EFT reported by echocardiography was 2.2±1.8 mm in the CAD group and 1.8±1.4 mm in the non-CAD group. The heterogeneity was found among the researched studies (I2=91.8%, p=0.000, Q-value=146.43, df [Q] =12) using the random effect model. The patients with CAD had a significantly higher echocardiographic EFT than those without CAD (SMD=1.03, 95% CI= 0.70-1.37, p=0.000).
Conclusion: According to the findings of this meta-analysis, the echocardiographic EFT in the subjects with CAD was significantly higher than that of those without CAD. The measurement of echocardiographic EFT seems to be an acceptable strategy for risk stratification of heart diseases considering ease of use, cost-effectiveness and non-exposure characteristics, compared to other imaging interventions.


Keywords: Adipose tissue, Epicardial fat thickness, Echocardiography, Coronary artery disease, Meta-analysis


» HTML Fulltext    » PDF Fulltext    » doi: 10.19082/7249

Current Issue

In the first issue of the journal Electronic Physician for 2019, we have several papers including three Randomized Controlled Trials, an in-vitro experimental study, a systematic review and meta-analysis, two instrument development studies, two case reports, and several original articles from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Jordan. Read more...


The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) is to be held on June 2-5, 2019 in Hong Kong.

The WCRI is the largest and most significant international conference on research integrity. Since the first conference in Lisbon in 2007, it has given researchers, teachers, funding agencies, government officials, journal editors, senior administrators, and research students opportunities to share experiences and to discuss and promote integrity in research. Read more:


TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowships

Call for applications

Deadline for submission: 7 March 2019, 16:00 (GMT)

TDR provides fellowships for early- to mid-career researchers and clinical trial staff (e.g. clinicians, pharmacists, medical statisticians, data managers, other health researchers) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to learn how to conduct clinical trials. Read more:

Meta-Analysis Workshops in New York, USA, and London, UK, in April and May 2019

Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to learn how to perform and report a Meta-analysis correctly. Two Meta-analysis workshops are organized in April and May 2019 by Dr. Michael Borenstein in New York, USA (April 08-10, 2019) and London, UK (May 27-29).

About the Instructor

Dr. Michael Borenstein, one of the authors of Introduction to Meta-Analysis, is widely recognized for his ability to make statistical concepts accessible to researchers as well as to statisticians. He has lectured widely on meta-analysis, including at the NIH, CDC, and FDA. Read more: