The role of MRI in understanding the underlying mechanisms in obesity associated diseases

Sunanda Mitra, Maria Fernandez-Del-Valle, Jason E. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Obesity and its possible association with diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases have been studied for decades for its impact on healthcare. Recent studies clearly indicate the need for developing accurate and reproducible methodologies for assessing body fat content and distribution. Body fat distribution plays a significant role in developing an insight in the underlying mechanisms in which adipose tissue is linked with various diseases. Among imaging technologies including computerized axial tomography (CAT or CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), MRI and MRS seem to be the best emerging techniques and together are being considered as the gold standard for body fat content and distribution. This paper reviews studies up to the present time involving different methodologies of these two emerging technologies and presents the basic concepts of MRI and MRS with required novel image analysis techniques in accurate, quantitative, and direct assessment of body fat content and distribution. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Quality in Diabetes/Obesity and Critical Illness Spectrum of Diseases — edited by P. Hemachandra Reddy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1131
Number of pages17
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Adipose tissue
  • Ectopic fat
  • Image analysis
  • MRI
  • Obesity assessment
  • Proton MR spectroscopy


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