Assessing visceral and subcutaneous adiposity using segmented T2-MRI and multi-frequency segmental bioelectrical impedance: A sex-based comparative study Assessing visceral adiposity among subjects with obesity

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Entesar Z Dalah
Hayder A. Hasan
Mohammed I. Madkour
Abdulmunhem Obaideen
Moez Al-Islam E. Faris


Abdominal visceral adipose tissue, Central obesity, Manual segmentation, Obesity, Semi-automated segmentation, T2 Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Background and Aim: This study aims to quantify abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) using T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and assess the extent of its concordance with VAT surface-area measured by a state-of-the-art segmental multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) device. A comparison between manual and semi-automated segmentation was conducted. Further, abdominal VAT and SAT sex-based comparison in healthy Arab adults was piloted. Methods: A cross-sectional design was followed to recruit subjects. Abdominal VAT and SAT were determined on T2-weighted MRI manually and semi-automatically. Body composition was assessed using a BIA machine. Statistical differences between the abdominal VAT areas defined by BIA, manual, and semi-automated MRI were compared. Correlation between all methods was assessed, and statistical differences between sex abdominal VAT/SAT defined areas were compared. Results: A total of 165 abdominal T2-weighted MR images taken for 55 overweight/obese adult subjects were analyzed Differences between manual and semi-automated MRI-obtained abdominal VAT and SAT were found statistically significant (P<0.001) for all subjects. Mean abdominal VAT using the BIA technique was found to correlate significantly with manually and semi-automated T2-weighted MRI defined VAT (r=0.7436; P<0.001 and r=0.8275; P<0.001, respectively). Abdominal VAT was significantly (P<0.001) different between male and female subjects accumulating at different abdominal levels. Conclusion: Semi-automatic segmentation showed a stronger significant correlation with BIA compared to manual segmentation, implying a more reliable quantification of abdominal VAT/SAT. Segmental BIA technique may serve as a feasible and convenient assessment tool for the visceral adiposity in obese subjects.


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