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Whole-body adipose tissue analysis: comparison of MRI, CT and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Journal article
Authors J Kullberg
John Brandberg
Jan-Erik Angelhed
H Frimmel
E Bergelin
L Strid
H Ahlström
L Johansson
Lars Lönn
Published in The British journal of radiology
Volume 82
Issue 974
Pages 123-30
ISSN 1748-880X
Publication year 2009
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiology
Pages 123-30
Language en
Keywords Absorptiometry, Photon, methods, Adipose Tissue, pathology, radiography, Adult, Aged, Anthropometry, methods, Female, Humans, Intra-Abdominal Fat, pathology, radiography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, instrumentation, methods, Male, Middle Aged, Obesity, pathology, radiography, Reproducibility of Results, Subcutaneous Fat, pathology, radiography, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, instrumentation, methods
Subject categories Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


The aim of this study was to validate a recently proposed MRI-based T(1)-mapping method for analysis of whole-body adipose tissue (AT) using an established CT protocol as reference and to include results from dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). 10 subjects, drawn from the Swedish Obese Subjects Sibling-pairs study, were examined using CT, MRI and DEXA. The CT analysis was based on 28 imaged slices. T(1) maps were calculated using contiguous MRI data from two different gradient echo sequences acquired using different flip angles. CT and MRI comparison was performed slice-wise and for the whole-body region. Fat weights were compared between all three modalities. Strong correlations (r > or = 0.977, p<0.0001) were found between MRI and CT whole-body and AT volumes. MRI visceral AT volume was underestimated by 0.79 +/- 0.75 l (p = 0.005), but total AT was not significantly different from that estimated by CT (MRI - CT = -0.61+/-1.17 l; p = 0.114). DEXA underestimated fat weights by 5.23 +/- 1.71 kg (p = 0.005) compared with CT. MRI underestimated whole-body volume by 2.03 +/- 1.61 l (p = 0.005) compared with CT. Weights estimated either by CT or by DEXA were not significantly different from weights measured using scales. In conclusion, strong correlations were found between whole-body AT results from CT, MRI-based T(1) mapping and DEXA. If the differences between the results from T(1)-mapping and CT-based analysis are accepted, the T(1)-mapping method allows fully automated post-processing of whole-body MRI data, allowing longitudinal whole-body studies that are also applicable for children and adolescents.

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