Impact of Body Mass Index on Vascular Calcification and Pericardial Fat Volume Among Patients with Suspected Coronary Artery Disease

Hussein Nafakhi, Abdulameer Al-Mosawi, Hayder Elwali, Hasan Al-Nafakh, Raad Tawfeq, Ahmed Nafakhi


Objectives: This study aimed to assess the effect of body mass index (BMI) on the relationship between pericardial fat volume (PFV), aortic root calcification (ARC) and coronary artery calcification (CAC) among patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: This cross-sectional study took place between January and December 2014 at the Kufa University Teaching Hospital, Najaf, Iraq. A total of 130 consecutive patients with an intermediate pretest probability of ischaemic heart disease who underwent 64-slice multidetector computed tomography (CT) angiography during the study period were recruited. Of these, 111 were included in the study and divided into groups according to BMI. Imaging markers were measured on CT angiography. Results: A total of 28 patients were obese, while 42 and 41 were overweight and normal weight, respectively. The median PFV, CAC and ARC was 109 cm3 (interquartile range [IQR]: 52–176 cm3), 0 Agatston score (IQR: 0–52 Agatston score) and 0 Agatston score (IQR: 0–15 Agatston score), respectively, in the normal weight group in comparison to 79 cm3 (IQR: 43–138 cm3), 0 Agatston score (IQR: 0–54 Agatston score) and 0 Agatston score (IQR: 0–0 Agatston score), respectively, in the obese group. Significant correlations were observed between PFV and CAC (r2 = 0.22; P = 0.002) and ARC and CAC (r2 = 0.37; P <0.001) in the normal weight group. However, no significant correlations were observed for obese and overweight patients. Conclusion: These findings indicate that BMI may not be an accurate tool for measuring adiposity or assessing subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in patients with suspected CAD.


Body Mass Index; Obesity; Pericardium; Coronary Vessels; Vascular Calcification; Atherosclerosis; Coronary Angiography.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

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