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Open Access Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Objective: Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) is a potential risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We performed a meta-analysis to assess the association of EAT with OSA. Methods: The PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Wanfang databases were searched by two independent investigators for all observational studies assessing the association of EAT with OSA. Then we assessed the association of EAT thickness (EAT-t) and EAT volume (EAT-v) with OSA by a meta-analysis. Results: Ten studies were included in the final analysis. Compared with that in controls, EAT-t in OSA patients was significantly increased (standardized mean difference 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.72–1.05, P = 0.000). Furthermore, EAT-t was greater in OSA patients than in controls with similar BMIs. However, we did not find significant differences in EAT-v between OSA patients and controls (standardized mean difference 2.46, 95% confidence interval −0.36 to 5.29, P = 0.088). EAT-t in the mild, moderate, and severe OSA subgroups was greater than in the controls. In addition, there were significant differences in EAT-t among the mild, moderate, and severe OSA subgroups. Conclusions: EAT-t was greater in patients with OSA than in controls, and EAT-t was also associated with the severity of OSA. These findings may provide a new clue for the pathogenesis and treatment of OSA
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Keywords: Epicardial adipose tissue; epicardial fat; obstructive sleep apnea; apnea syndrome

Affiliations: The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University

Appeared or available online: October 14, 2020

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