Hepatic triglyceride content and its relation to body adiposity: a magnetic resonance imaqing and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

Thomas, E. L.; Hamilton, G.; Patel, N.; O'Dwyer, R.; Doré, C. J.; Goldin, R. D.; Bell, J. D.; Taylor-Robinson, S. D.
January 2005
Gut;Jan2005, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p122
Academic Journal
Background: Hepatic steatosis is associated with obesity and type II diabetes. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (¹H MRS) is a non-invasive method for measurement of tissue fat content, including intrahepatocellular lipids (IHCL) and intramyocellular lipids (IMCL). Patients and methods: We used ¹H MRS and whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the relationship between IHCL accumulation, total body adipose tissue (AT) content/distribution, and IMCL content in 11 subjects with biopsy proven hepatic steatosis and 23 normal volunteers. Results: IHCL signals were detectable in all subjects but were significantly greater in hepatic steatosis (geometric mean (GM) 11.5 (interquartile range (IQR) 7.0-39.0)) than in normal volunteers (GM 2.7 (1QR 0.7-9.3); p = 0.02). In the study group as a whole, IHCL levels were significantly greater in overweight compared with lean subjects (body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m² (n = 23): GM 7.7 (IQR 4.0-28.6) v BM1 <25 kg/m² (n =11): GM 1.3 (IQR 0.3-3.6; p =0.004)). There was a significant association between IHCL content and indices of overall obesity (expressed as a percentage of body weight) for total body fat (p = 0.001), total subcutaneous AT (p =0.007), and central obesity (subcutaneous abdominal AT (p =0.001) and intra-abdominal AT (p =0.001)), after allowing for sex and age. No correlation between IHCL content and MCI was observed. A significant correlation was observed between serum alanine aminotransferase and liver fat content (r=0.57, p=0.006). Conclusions: Our results suggest that hepatic steatosis appears to be closely related to body adiposity, especially central obesity. MRS may be a useful method for monitoring IHCL in future interventional studies.


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