Applicability of Supraclavicular Oxygenated and Total Hemoglobin Evaluated by Near-Infrared Time-Resolved Spectroscopy as Indicators of Brown Adipose Tissue Density in Humans

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 6;20(9):2214. doi: 10.3390/ijms20092214.


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) may potentially be used in strategies for preventing lifestyle-related diseases. We examine evidence that near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy (NIRTRS) is capable of estimating human BAT density (BAT-d). The parameters examined in this study are total hemoglobin [total-Hb]sup, oxygenated Hb [oxy-Hb]sup, deoxygenated Hb [deoxy-Hb]sup, Hb O2 saturation (StO2sup), and the reduced scattering coefficient in the supraclavicular region (μs'sup), where BAT deposits can be located; corresponding parameters in the control deltoid region are obtained as controls. Among the NIRTRS parameters, [total-Hb]sup and [oxy-Hb]sup show region-specific increases in winter, compared to summer. Further, [total-Hb]sup and [oxy-Hb]sup are correlated with cold-induced thermogenesis in the supraclavicular region. We conclude that NIRTRS-determined [total-Hb]sup and [oxy-Hb]sup are useful parameters for evaluating BAT-d in a simple, rapid, non-invasive manner.

Keywords: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography; brown adipose tissue (BAT); cold-induced thermogenesis; noninvasive; seasonal temperature fluctuations; thermogenic functional ingredients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / anatomy & histology
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / diagnostic imaging
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Deltoid Muscle
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxyhemoglobins / analysis*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / standards
  • Thermogenesis


  • Oxyhemoglobins