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Fat fraction mapping using magnetic resonance imaging: insight into pathophysiology

Bray, TJP; Chouhan, MD; Punwani, S; Bainbridge, A; Hall-Craggs, MA; (2017) Fat fraction mapping using magnetic resonance imaging: insight into pathophysiology. British Institute of Radiology , 90 , Article 20170344. 10.1259/bjr.20170344. Green open access

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Abstract

Adipose cells have traditionally been viewed as a simple, passive energy storage depot for triglycerides. However, in recent years it has become clear that adipose cells are highly physiologically active and have a multitude of endocrine, metabolic, haematological and immune functions. Changes in the number or size of adipose cells may be directly implicated in disease (for example, in the metabolic syndrome), but may also be linked to other pathological processes such as inflammation, malignant infiltration or infarction. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is ideally suited to the quantification of fat, since most of the acquired signal comes from water and fat protons. Fat fraction (FF, the proportion of the acquired signal derived from fat protons) has therefore emerged as an objective, image-based biomarker of disease. Methods for fat fraction quantification are becoming increasingly available in both research and clinical settings, but these methods vary depending on the scanner, manufacturer, imaging sequence and reconstruction software being used. Careful selection of the imaging method - and correct interpretation - can improve the accuracy of FF measurements, minimize potential confounding factors and maximize clinical utility. Here, we review methods for fat quantification and their strengths and weaknesses, before considering how they can be tailored to specific applications, particularly in the gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal systems. FF quantification is becoming established as a clinical and research tool, and understanding the underlying principles will be helpful to both imaging scientists and clinicians.

Type: Article
Title: Fat fraction mapping using magnetic resonance imaging: insight into pathophysiology
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1259/bjr.20170344
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr.20170344
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Department of Imaging
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1576241
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