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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Mar;26(3):398-402.

A novel method of measuring intra-abdominal fat volume using helical computed tomography.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Chibaken Saiseikai Narashino Hospital, Narashino, Japan.



:We present a novel method of scanning for intra-abdominal fat volume by helical computed tomography (CT), and describe the clinical significance of measuring the volumes of intra-abdominal visceral fat (V(vol)) and subcutaneous fat (S(vol)) vs these respective areas determined by conventional slice-by-slice CT at the umbilical level.


Subjects with obesity or hyperlipidemia (79 men, 74 women) were recruited for this study. We obtained helical CT scans with a tube current of 150 mA, voltage of 120 kV and 2:1 pitch (table speed in relation to slice thickness), starting at the upper edge of the liver and continuing until the pelvis. The intra-abdominal visceral fat volume was measured by drawing a line within the muscle wall surrounding the abdominal cavity. The abdominal subcutaneous fat volume was calculated by subtracting the visceral fat volume from the total abdominal fat volume. By comparison, the intra-abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat areas were determined at the umbilical level by the established slice-by-slice CT scanning technique.


V(vol) was correlated positively with visceral fat area (V(area)) measured by conventional CT in both genders (in men (n=79) V(vol) vs V(area), r=0.81 P<0.0001; in women (n=74) V(vol) vs V(area), r=0.85, P<0.0001). S(vol) also showed a positive correlation with subcutaneous fat area (S(area)) in both genders (in men (n=78) S(vol) vs S(area), r=0.95, P<0.0001; in women (n=74) S(vol) vs S(area), r=0.92, P<0.0001).


We have reported a novel method for measuring intra-abdominal fat volume by the use of helical CT.

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