Abdominal fat tissue echogenicity a novel marker of morbid obesity

Georgiopoulos G, Kontogiannis C, Stakos D, Bakogiannis K, Koliviras A, Kyrkou A, Karapanou L, Benekos K, Augoulea A, Armeni E,
Laina A, Stellos K, Labrinoudaki I, Stamatelopoulos K.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018

Purpose:

Menopause-related changes may affect regional but also morphological characteristics of adipose tissue.
We sought to assess the clinical value of echogenicity of subcutaneous (SAT) and pre-peritoneal adipose tissue (pPAT)
in postmenopausal women without cardiovascular disease.
Methods:

In 244 consecutively recruited postmenopausal women, subclinical atherosclerosis was assessed in the femoral
and carotid arteries by intima-media thickness (IMT) and atheromatous plaques using high-resolution ultrasonography.
In 41 women with a second visit (median follow-up 41.5 months), carotid atherosclerosis was re-evaluated.
Images of SAT and pPAT were ultrasonographically acquired and their echogenicity was evaluated by grey-scale mean (GSMn) using a dedicated software.
Results:

SAT GSMn but not pPAT was higher in postmenopausal as compared to healthy premenopausal women (n=20) and was independently associated
with metabolic markers of adiposity including Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC).
SAT GSMn was associated with carotid IMT and the presence and number of atheromatous plaques (adjusted OR=2.44 and 2.32 per 1-SD
increase in GSMn, 95%CIs 1.55-3.93 and 1.55-3.45, respectively). SAT GSMn conferred incremental value over traditional risk factors,
insulin resistance, BMI and WC for the detection of subclinical atherosclerosis.
Increased baseline SAT GSMn was associated with increased rate of progression in carotid IMT.
Conclusions:

SAT echogenicity may serve as a qualitative marker of adiposity conferring incremental clinical value over BMI and WC in postmenopausal women.
Further investigation is warranted to assess the utility of ultrasonography-derived fat echogenicity as a screening method for morbid obesity.

 

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