Research Corner - Towards Visceral Fat Estimation At Scale
This is our first Snowhill Science paper published in Jul 2023.
For this, we looked at visceral fat assessment across the different imaging modalities in just under 5000 subjects in the UK Biobank cohort across BIA, DXA, and MRI. We also looked at how they compare on CT using a single slice approach versus whole volume method.
As demonstrated in our study, when deployed at scale, DXA-derived VAT volume measurement shows excellent correlation with three-dimensional volume on MRI.
Whereas a single slice CT technique demonstrated moderate correlation with three-dimensional volume on CT, with a stronger correlation achieved when multiple levels were combined.
DXA is a type of whole-body x-ray that involves minimal radiation exposure. It is a fast and cost-effective procedure. While it is commonly used to assess bone density, it can also provide a variety of body composition parameters. One important parameter is known as visceral adipose tissue, or visceral fat. As we age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain a healthy body composition and avoid excessive visceral fat. This type of fat has been associated with diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and some even consider it a causal factor. DXA, along with CT and MRI, can accurately quantify visceral fat and help guide individuals towards a healthier body phenotype.
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