Decoding the radiomic and proteomic phenotype of epicardial adipose tissue associated with adverse left atrial remodelling and post-operative atrial fibrillation in aortic stenosis.
Mancio J., Sousa-Nunes F., Martins R., Fragao-Marques M., Conceicao G., Pessoa-Amorim G., Barros AS., Santa C., Ferreira W., Carvalho M., Miranda IM., Vitorino R., Falcao-Pires I., Manadas B., Ribeiro VG., Leite-Moreira A., Bettencourt N., Fontes-Carvalho R.
AIMS: Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) volume and attenuation on computed tomography (CT) have been associated with atrial fibrillation. Beyond these conventional CT measures, radiomics allows extraction of high-dimensional data and deep quantitative adipose tissue phenotyping, which may capture its underlying biology. We aimed to explore the EAT proteomic and CT-radiomic signatures associated with impaired left atrial (LA) remodelling and post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF). METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively included 132 patients with severe aortic stenosis with no prior atrial fibrillation referred for aortic valve replacement. Pre-operative non-contrast CT images were obtained for extraction of EAT volume and other radiomic features describing EAT texture. The LA function was assessed by 2D-speckle-tracking echocardiography peak atrial longitudinal strain and peak atrial contraction strain. The EAT biopsies were performed during surgery for proteomic analysis by sequential windowed acquisition of all theoretical fragment ion mass spectra (SWATH-MS). The POAF incidence was monitored from surgery until discharge. Impaired LA function and incident POAF were associated with EAT up-regulation of inflammatory and thrombotic proteins, and down-regulation of cardioprotective proteins with anti-inflammatory and anti-lipotoxic properties. The EAT volume was independently associated with LA enlargement, impaired function, and POAF risk. On CT images, EAT texture of patients with POAF was heterogeneous and exhibited higher maximum grey-level values than sinus rhythm patients, which correlated with up-regulation of inflammatory and down-regulation of lipid droplet-formation EAT proteins. The CT radiomics of EAT provided an area under the curve of 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.68-0.92) for discrimination between patients with POAF and sinus rhythm. CONCLUSION: Pre-operative CT-radiomic profile of EAT detected adverse EAT proteomics and identified patients at risk of developing POAF.