Estimation of body fat and lean tissue distribution by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and abdominal body fat evaluation by computed tomography in Cushing's disease

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1995 Sep;80(9):2791-4. doi: 10.1210/jcem.80.9.7673425.


Body composition determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and the abdominal visceral fat component determined by computed tomographic scanning were examined in women with Cushing's disease and compared with those in obese women with the same anthropometric parameters and those in nonobese women. Patients with Cushing's had no increase in total body fat or the trunk region (android) component, but had a higher intraabdominal fat area compared to the obese subjects. The total lean tissue mass was slightly reduced in Cushing's compared to that in the obese subjects due to a significant decrease in the muscle of the legs and arms; the reduced amounts of fat and lean tissue masses in the arms were the most significant findings in hypercortisolism. The body mineral and bone calcium contents were slightly reduced in Cushing's compared to those in the obese controls. Thus, although obese subjects had more fat and lean tissue and mineral masses than their normal weight counterparts, the Cushing's patients, with the same total fat mass and its components (except in the arms) as obese individuals, present total lean tissue and fractions, including body mineral and bone calcium contents, similar to those in nonobese subjects due to the depletion of the protein depots, as seen in hypercortisolism.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Body Composition*
  • Bone Density
  • Cushing Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Minerals / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Radiography, Abdominal*
  • Reference Values
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Viscera


  • Minerals