Comparison of visceral adipose tissue quantification on water suppressed and nonwater-suppressed MRI at 3.0 tesla

Anqi Zhou, Horacio Murillo, Kenneth Cusi, Qi Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To systematically evaluate and compare the performance of water-saturated and nonwater-saturated T1-weighted 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the application of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) quantification. Materials and Methods: Forty-five patients underwent abdomen MRI using two different sequences at 3.0 T: 1) a traditional T1-weighted gradient echo sequence, and 2) the same sequence with water presaturation to enhance fat and nonfat contrast. VAT amounts from both water-saturated and nonwater-saturated images were quantified with a manual thresholding technique and an automated segmentation method to study quantification variability and consistency of the two imaging techniques. Results: Nonwater-saturated MRI had significantly larger coefficient of variation than water-saturated MRI in the imaging reproducibility study based on 112 slices from seven subjects (11.4% vs. 2.5%, P < 0.0001). VAT volumes measured from the nonwater-saturation MRI sequence had significantly higher variability than those from water-saturation images even when using a manual quantification method based on images from 38 subjects (1.76% vs. 1.08%, P < 0.001). In addition, the VAT volume amounts from nonwater-saturation images and water-saturated images quantified with the automatic and manual quantification methods were statistically consistent. Conclusion: Water-saturated MRI sequences at 3.0 T for VAT quantification improve reproducibility and decrease variability compared with nonwater saturated sequences, especially with the use of automatic quantification methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1452
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • abdominal MRI
  • body composition
  • image segmentation
  • obesity
  • visceral adipose tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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