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J Vis Exp. 2019 Apr 1;(146). doi: 10.3791/58469.

Whole Body and Regional Quantification of Active Human Brown Adipose Tissue Using 18F-FDG PET/CT.

Author information

1
Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.
2
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
3
Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School.
4
Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Brooks.leitner@yale.edu.

Abstract

In endothermic animals, brown adipose tissue (BAT) is activated to produce heat for defending body temperature in response to cold. BAT's ability to expend energy has made it a potential target for novel therapies to ameliorate obesity and associated metabolic disorders in humans. Though this tissue has been well studied in small animals, BAT's thermogenic capacity in humans remains largely unknown due to the difficulties of measuring its volume, activity, and distribution. Identifying and quantifying active human BAT is commonly performed using 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) scans following cold-exposure or pharmacological activation. Here we describe a detailed image-analysis approach to quantify total-body human BAT from 18F-FDG PET/CT scans using an open-source software. We demonstrate the drawing of user-specified regions of interest to identify metabolically active adipose tissue while avoiding common non-BAT tissues, to measure BAT volume and activity, and to further characterize its anatomical distribution. Although this rigorous approach is time-consuming, we believe it will ultimately provide a foundation to develop future automated BAT quantification algorithms.

PMID:
30985755
DOI:
10.3791/58469
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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