Brown adipose tissue density measured by near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy in Japanese, across a wide age range

J Biomed Opt. 2018 Jun;23(6):1-9. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.23.6.065002.


F18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) along with computed tomography (CT) is a standard method for assessing brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity. We tested the usefulness of near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy (NIRTRS) as a simple and noninvasive method for evaluating BAT density (BAT-d) by examining the effects of some factors known to influence BAT activity. The total hemoglobin concentration as a parameter of BAT-d was evaluated using NIRTRS in the supraclavicular region in 413 Japanese individuals. The associations were analyzed between BAT-d and sex, age, the percentages of body fat (%BF), visceral fat (VF), and the seasonal ambient temperature (AmT) fluctuations. Age was associated with decreased BAT-d (P < 0.05). There was no sex difference in the BAT-d, except for those in their twenties. Multivariate analyses revealed that %BF and VF were correlated with BAT-d, and the lower AmT (around 4°C or 5°C) for 4 and 6 weeks prior to the measurement day was associated with an increase in the BAT-d. Our NIRTRS results were analogous to those reported with FDG18-PET / CT, indicating the usefulness of NIRTRS. BAT-d might increase during the 4 and 6 weeks after the AmT decreases to lower than 4°C or 5°C.

Keywords: age; ambient temperature; near-infrared spectroscopy; noninvasive, brown adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / anatomy & histology*
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Asian People / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*
  • Young Adult