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J Lipid Res. 1999 Aug;40(8):1395-400.

In vivo quantitative lipidic map of brown adipose tissue by chemical shift imaging at 4.7 Tesla.

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  • 1Magnetic Resonance Laboratory, Institute of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.


In the present paper, chemical shift imaging techniques are applied to quantitative in vivo evaluation of fat and water content in interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT). The experiments have been carried out on five female Sprague-Dawley rats after calibration and testing with suitable phantoms containing known amounts of water and oil. We found that, in the interscapular BAT, the fat is about 50% at the surface (mainly unilocular) region, but its percentage drops to 20;-30% in the deepest (mainly multilocular) portion. The perirenal deposits of white adipose tissue (WAT) contained significantly higher amount of fat with large areas ranging from 70 to 90%. Later the rats were killed and the same procedure was repeated with dead animals. Experiments performed in dead rats show a modification of the hydro-lipidic ratio more evident in the multilocular portions of the deposit. The present work demonstrates that MRI-based methods allow a non-invasive, in vivo quantitative mapping of the lipid content which can be applied to investigation of brown adipose tissue deposits in small experiment animals.

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