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Epicardial Adipose Tissue
Cardiovascular System

Epicardial Adipose Tissue

Textus adiposus epicardia

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The visceral layer of serous pericardium forms the epicardial layer of the heart. Between the epicardium and the underlying myocardial layer is the epicardial adipose tissue.

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Key Features/Anatomical Relations

This layer fat is adherent to the myocardial layer and is particularly abundant within the external sulci of the heart, for example, the interventricular sulci. These sulci also contain branches of the coronary arteries and cardiac veins.


The precise function of the epicardial adipose tissue is unknown. Since it contains the coronary vessels, it may act as an anchoring point and cushion the coronary vascular supply. Research has also shown that it is metabolically active. A certain amount of adipose tissue is healthy; however, an increased amount is linked to cardiometabolic syndromes.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Atherosclerosis

- Cardiovascular disease

- Coronary artery disease

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Adipose Tissue

ScienceDirect image

Adipose tissue is a specialized connective tissue that is comprised of lipid-filled cells (adipocytes) contained within a collagen framework.

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