Whole-body MRI-based fat quantification: a comparison to air displacement plethysmography

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2014 Dec;40(6):1437-44. doi: 10.1002/jmri.24509. Epub 2014 Jan 22.


Purpose: To demonstrate the feasibility of an algorithm for MRI whole-body quantification of internal and subcutaneous fat and quantitative comparison of total adipose tissue to air displacement plethysmography (ADP).

Materials and methods: For comparison with ADP, whole-body MR data of 11 volunteers were obtained using a continuously moving table Dixon sequence. Resulting fat images were corrected for B1 related intensity inhomogeneities before fat segmentation.

Results: The performed MR measurements of the whole body provided a direct comparison to ADP measurements. The segmentation of subcutaneous and internal fat in the abdomen worked reliably with an accuracy of 98%. Depending on the underlying model for fat quantification, the resultant MR fat masses represent an upper and a lower limit for the true fat masses. In comparison to ADP, the results were in good agreement with ρ ≥ 0.97, P < 0.0001.

Conclusion: Whole-body fat quantities derived noninvasively by using a continuously moving table Dixon acquisition were directly compared with ADP. The accuracy of the method and the high reproducibility of results indicate its potential for clinical applications.

Keywords: Dixon imaging; air-displacement plethysmography; continuously moving table MRI; fat quantification; subcutaneous adipose tissue; visceral adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Plethysmography, Whole Body / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Whole Body Imaging / methods*