Background Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) generally demonstrates a stronger relationship with cardiometabolic risk factors than total body fat or subcutaneous adipose tissue. Objectives The purpose of this study was to compare VAT estimated in children by total volume dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) with a gold standard measurement, single slice (L4-L5) computed tomography (CT). Methods A total of 329 (152 females, 177 males) children ages 6-18 years (mean age 12.3 ± 3.6) and with average body mass index percentile of 54.9% (3-99%) had their VAT estimated by both CT and DXA. Linear association between methods was measured using Pearson's correlation. Multiple linear regressions compared the associations between cardiometabolic risk factors and both CT-VAT and DXA-VAT, respectively. Results In children, DXA-VAT was correlated significantly with CT-VAT, with a stronger relationship in overweight and obese children. Multiple regression analysis showed that both estimates of VAT were significantly associated with lipids and insulin sensitivity, measured by euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp. Additionally, DXA-VAT was associated with diastolic blood pressure, homeostasis model of insulin resistance and fasting insulin, but CT-VAT was not. Conclusion In children, total volume DXA-VAT and single slice CT-VAT are significantly correlated and each demonstrates similar associations with cardiometabolic risk factors. This suggests that DXA is a useful and valid method for estimation of VAT in children.
- Body composition
- insulin resistance