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J Pediatr. 2011 May;158(5):722-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.11.020. Epub 2010 Dec 18.

Functional brown adipose tissue is related to muscle volume in children and adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.



We examined whether the depiction of brown adipose tissue (BAT) with positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in pediatric patients is associated with anthropometric measures.


We determined measures of body mass, adiposity, and musculature in 71 children and adolescents who underwent PET/CT examinations and compared patients with and without BAT. We used regression analyses to assess the relation between BAT and anthropometric measures.


A total of 30 patients (42%) had BAT depicted on PET/CT, 10 of 26 girls (38%) and 20 of 45 boys (44%). Compared with patients without functional BAT, patients with BAT had significantly greater neck musculature (1880 ± 908 cm(3) versus 1299 ± 806 cm(3); P = .028 for boys and 1295 ± 586 cm(3) versus 854 ± 392 cm(3); P = .030 for girls) and gluteus musculature (1359 ± 373 cm(3) versus 1061 ± 500 cm(3); P = .032 for boys and 1138 ± 425 cm(3) versus 827 ± 297 cm(3); P = .038 for girls), but no differences in age, body mass index, or measures of subcutaneous fat. With logistic regression analyses, neck and pelvic musculature predicted the presence of BAT independently of age, sex, body size, and season of scan (P = .018 and .009, respectively).


Pediatric patients with visualized BAT on PET/CT examinations had significantly greater muscle volume than patients with no visualized BAT.

Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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