Chang J, Jung J, Lee H, et al.
Computed tomography (CT) exams were conducted to determine the distribution of abdominal fat identified based on the CT number measured in Hounsfield Units (HU) and to measure the volume of the abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat in minipigs. The relationship between the CT-based fat volumes of several vertebral levels and the entire abdomen and anthropometric data including the sagittal abdominal diameter and waist circumference were evaluated. Moreover, the total fat volumes at the T11, T13, L3, and L5 levels were compared with the total fat volume of the entire abdomen to define the landmark of abdominal fat distribution. Using a single-detector CT, six 6-month-old male minipigs were scanned under general anesthesia. Three radiologists then assessed the HU value of visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat by drawing the region of interest manually at the T11, T13, L1, L3, and L5 levels. The CT number and abdominal fat determined in this way by the three radiologists was found to be correlated (intra-class coefficient = 0.9). The overall HU ranges for the visceral and subcutaneous fat depots were -147.47 to -83.46 and -131.62 to -90.97, respectively. The total fat volume of the entire abdomen was highly correlated with the volume of abdominal fat at the T13 level (r = 0.97, p < 0.0001). These findings demonstrate that the volume of abdominal adipose tissue measured at the T13 level using CT is a strong and reliable predictor of total abdominal adipose volume.