Accumulation of brown adipose tissue and nutritional status. A prospective study of 366 consecutive autopsies

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1992 Nov;116(11):1152-4.


Increased amounts of brown adipose tissue have been reported to occur in association with several diseases. The objective of the present study was to determine whether brown adipose tissue accumulation is related to nutritional status. Histologic sections of periadrenal tissue prospectively obtained at consecutive autopsies from 366 adults were examined. The cases were separated into three groups: malnourished (101 autopsies), normotrophic (128 autopsies), and obese (137 autopsies), according to the Quetelet index. Of these patients, 89 had brown adipose tissue accumulation, 35 were malnourished, 32 were normotrophic, and 22 were obese. The results showed a correlation between brown adipose tissue and patient nutritional status and a higher brown adipose tissue accumulation in malnourished patients. Cardiovascular disease was the most common type of illness present in the cases with brown adipose tissue accumulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / pathology*
  • Body Composition
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Disorders / pathology
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Prospective Studies