BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) mass, a risk factor for cardiometabolic complications of obesity, is usually measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) but this method is not practical in a clinical setting. In contrast, measurement of VAT by dual-x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) appears to circumvent the limitations of MRI. In this study, we compared measurements of VAT mass by MRI and DXA in the large, multiethnic cohort of the Dallas Heart Study (DHS).
SUBJECTS/METHODS: About 2689 DHS participants underwent paired measurement of VAT by MRI and DXA. Sex-stratified analyses were performed to evaluate the correlation and agreement between DXA and MRI. Model validation was performed using bootstrapping and inter-reader variability was assessed.
RESULTS: Mean age of the cohort was 44 years, with 55% female, 48% Black and 75% overweight/obese participants. Regression analysis showed a linear relationship between DXA and MRI with R(2)=0.82 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81-0.84) for females and R(2)=0.86 (95% CI 0.85-0.88) for males. Mean difference between methods was 0.01 kg for females and 0.09 kg for males. Bland-Altman analysis showed that DXA tended to modestly underestimate VAT compared with MRI at lower VAT levels and overestimate it compared with MRI at higher VAT levels. Results were consistent in analyses stratified by race, body mass index status, waist girth and body fat. Inter-individual reader correlation among 50 randomly selected scans was excellent (inter-class correlation coefficient=0.997).
CONCLUSIONS: VAT mass quantification by DXA was both accurate and valid among a large, multiethnic cohort within a wide range of body fatness. Further studies including repeat assessments over time will help determine its long-term applicability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism