In Vivo Noninvasive Detection of Brown Adipose Tissue through Intermolecular Zero-Quantum MRI

Rosa T. Branca, Le Zhang, Warren S. Warren, Edward Auerbach, Arjun Khanna, Simone Degan, Kamil Ugurbil, Robert Maronpot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recent discovery of active Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) in adult humans has opened new avenues for obesity research and treatment, as reduced BAT activity seem to be implicated in human energy imbalance, diabetes, and hypertension. However, clinical applications are currently limited by the lack of non-invasive tools for measuring mass and function of this tissue in humans. Here we present a new magnetic resonance imaging method based on the normally invisible intermolecular multiple-quantum coherence 1H MR signal. This method, which doesn't require special hardware modifications, can be used to overcome partial volume effect, the major limitation of MR-based approaches that are currently being investigated for the detection of BAT in humans. With this method we can exploit the characteristic cellular structure of BAT to selectively image it, even when (as in humans) it is intimately mixed with other tissues. We demonstrate and validate this method in mice using PET scans and histology. We compare this methodology with conventional 1H MR fat fraction methods. Finally, we investigate its feasibility for the detection of BAT in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere74206
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2013

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