Epicardial Adipose Tissue Inflammation Can Cause the Distinctive Pattern of Cardiovascular Disorders Seen in Psoriasis

  • Milton Packer
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to Milton Packer, MD, Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute, 621 N. Hall Street, Dallas, TX 75226
    Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Tex

    Imperial College, London
    Search for articles by this author
Published:September 11, 2019DOI:


      Psoriasis is a systemic inflammatory disorder that can target adipose tissue; the resulting adipocyte dysfunction is manifest clinically as the metabolic syndrome, which is present in ≈20%-40% of patients. Epicardial adipose tissue inflammation is likely responsible for a distinctive pattern of cardiovascular disorders consisting of 1) accelerated coronary atherosclerosis leading to myocardial infarction, 2) atrial myopathy leading to atrial fibrillation and thromboembolic stroke, and 3) ventricular myopathy leading to heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction. If cardiovascular inflammation drives these risks, then treatments that focus on blood pressure, lipids, and glucose will not ameliorate the burden of cardiovascular disease in patients with psoriasis, especially in those who are young and have severe inflammation. Instead, interventions that alleviate systemic and adipose tissue inflammation may not only minimize the risks of atrial fibrillation and heart failure but may also have favorable effects on the severity of psoriasis. Viewed from this perspective, the known link between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease is not related to the influence of the individual diagnostic components of the metabolic syndrome.


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