Total and intraabdominal fat distribution in preadolescents and adolescents: Measurement with MR imaging

Marilyn J. Siegel, Charles F. Hildebolt, Kyongtae T. Bae, Cheng Hong, Neil H. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Purpose: To prospectively correlate single- and multisection magnetic resonance (MR) imaging measurements with clinical measurements for assessment of abdominal adipose tissue volumes in healthy (control subjects), overweight, and diabetic overweight preadolescents, and adolescents. Materials and Methods: The study was approved by the institutional internal review board and was HIPAA compliant. Informed consent was obtained from parents, and assent was obtained from control subjects and patients. Thirty total study subjects (20 male, 10 female; age range, 10-18 years; mean, 14.5 years) underwent MR imaging, anthropometric measurement, and dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). A computer-assisted software program was used to quantify subcutaneous, visceral, and total abdominal adipose tissue volumes. Single-section measurements at disk space L4-L5 and whole-abdominal multisection measurements were compared, and each method was tested for correlations with anthropometric and DXA measurements with Spearman ρ and Pearson correlation (r) coefficients. Single- and multisection image analyses required 5 and 25 minutes per subject, respectively. Results: There was a high degree of correlation between single- and multisection MR imaging methods for measurement of subcutaneous (r = 0.97), visceral (r = 0.96), and total abdominal fat (r = 0.97). MR imaging fat measurements strongly correlated with anthropometric measurements (ρ correlation range, 0.81-0.96; P ≤ .02), with overlapping 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for single- and multisection MR imaging correlations. MR imaging percentage of intraabdominal fat measurements (mean, 23%; 95% CI: 17%, 29%) highly correlated with DXA abdominal fat measurements (mean, 26%; 95% CI: 21%, 31%). Significant differences were found among healthy subjects, overweight patients, and diabetic overweight patients for total fat volumes (P < .001) but not for fat distribution patterns. Conclusion: Single- and multisection MR imaging measurements for the quantitative assessment of abdominal adipose tissue strongly correlate with clinical and DXA fat measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-856
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


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