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Imaging spectrum of abnormal subcutaneous and visceral fat distribution

Authors
  • Yamamoto, Asako1
  • Kikuchi, Yoshinao1
  • Kusakabe, Toru2
  • Takano, Hideyuki3
  • Sakurai, Keita1
  • Furui, Shigeru1
  • Oba, Hiroshi1
  • 1 Teikyo University School of Medicine, 2-11-1 Kaga Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, 173-8606, Japan , Tokyo (Japan)
  • 2 National Hospital Organization Kyoto Medical Center, 1-1 Fukakusa Mukaihata-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, 612-8555, Japan , Kyoto (Japan)
  • 3 Chiba Cancer Center, 666-2 Nitonacho, Chuo-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba, 260-8717, Japan , Chiba (Japan)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Insights into Imaging
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 13, 2020
Volume
11
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s13244-019-0833-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Adipose tissue plays multiple and complex roles not only in mechanical cushioning and energy storage but also as an important secretory organ that regulates energy balance and homeostasis multilaterally. Fat tissue is categorized into subcutaneous fat tissue (SCAT) or visceral fat tissue (VSA) depending on its distribution, with the two having different metabolic functions. Near-total lack of fat in congenital/acquired generalized lipodystrophy, cachexia, or any other severe malnutrition condition induces severe multi-organ dysfunction due to lack of production of leptin and other adipokines. Increased visceral fat tissue secondary to obesity, hypercortisolism, or multiple symmetric lipomatosis raises the risk of insulin resistance, cardiac complications, and airway or spinal canal stenosis, although the fat distribution pattern differs in each condition. Partial abnormal fat distribution conditions such as HIV/HAART therapy-associated lipodystrophy, familial partial lipodystrophies, and acquired partial lipodystrophy frequently show a mixture of lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy with metabolic dysfunction. Characteristic imaging features in conditions with local abnormal fat distribution can provide information about a patient’s co-existent/unrecognized disease(s), past medical history, or lifestyle. Knowledge of characteristic abnormal fat distribution patterns can contribute to proper and timely therapeutic decision-making and patient education.

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