Comparison of 3 T MRI and CT for the measurement of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue in humans

Bethany J. Klopfenstein, M. S. Kim, C. M. Krisky, J. Szumowski, W. D. Rooney, J. Q. Purnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Objective: CT is considered the gold standard imaging modality for measurement of visceral adipose tissue area. However, as CT imaging exposes subjects to ionising radiation, a comparable imaging technique without this exposure is desirable, such as MRI. Therefore, we compared the agreement of measures of visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue area from single-slice images obtained at the umbilicus using a 3 T MRI scanner with single-slice images obtained via CT scan. Methods: 64 images were obtained from 27 subjects who underwent MRI and CT scanning on the same day, after 10-12 hours of fasting. Visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue depots were manually separated and quantified using a multimodality image-processing software program. Results: We found good agreement between CT and MRI for the measurement of both visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Bland-Altman difference analysis demonstrated a mean bias of 22.9% (as a portion of total abdominal area) for visceral adipose tissue and +0.4% for subcutaneous adipose tissue, as measured by MRI compared with CT. Conclusion: MRI is a safe, accurate and precise imaging modality for measuring both visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue, making it a favourable alternative to CT for quantification of these adipose depots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e826-e830
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1018
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of 3 T MRI and CT for the measurement of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this