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NMR Biomed. 2003 May;16(3):160-7.

In vivo characterization of fatty acids in human adipose tissue using natural abundance 1H decoupled 13C MRS at 1.5 T: clinical applications to dietary therapy.

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  • 1Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Pasadena, CA, USA.


Natural abundance proton-decoupled (13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to establish the in vivo lipid composition of normal adipose tissue and the corresponding effects of altered lipid diets. Experiments were performed on a standard 1.5 T clinical MR scanner using a double-tuned (1)H-(13)C coil. Peaks from double-bonded and methylene carbons were analyzed. Normal lipid composition was established in 20 control subjects. For comparison, five subjects on altered lipid diets were studied. Four subjects were on a fish oil supplement diet or predominantly seafood diet (polyunsaturated fatty acids), and one subject was on a Lorenzo's oil diet (monounsaturated fatty acids). Well-resolved (13)C spectra were obtained from the calf adipose tissue with a total acquisition time of 10 min. Model oil solutions were used to identify specific (13)C resonances. Subjects on lipid diets showed significantly elevated levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids for Lorenzo's and fish oil diets, respectively. We conclude that (13)C MR spectroscopy can readily detect changes in lipid composition due to medium- and long-term therapeutic lipid diets. Since the examination is rapid, robust and noninvasive, opportunities arise for large clinical trials of preventive or therapeutic diets to be performed with (13)C MRS on a clinical MR scanner.

Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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