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Relationships between carotid artery intima-media thickness and echogenicity and body composition using a new magnetic resonance imaging voxel-based technique

, Joel Kullberg, Håkan Ahlström,
Published: 23 July 2021

Abstract: Background We evaluated how carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and the echogenicity of the intima-media (IM-GSM), measured by ultrasound, were related to body composition, evaluated by both traditional imaging techniques, as well as with a new voxel-based “Imiomics” technique. Methods In 321 subjects all aged 50 years in the POEM study, IMT and IM-GSM were measured together with a DXA scan for determination of fat and lean mass. Also a whole-body MRI scan was performed and the body volume was divided into >1 million voxels in a standardized fashion. IMT and IM-GSM were related to each of these voxels to create a 3D-view of how these measurements were related to size of each part of the body. Results IM-GSM was inversely related to almost all traditional measurements of body composition, like fat and lean mass, liver fat, visceral and subcutaneous fat, but this was not seen for IMT. Using Imiomics, IMT was positively related to the intraabdominal fat volume, as well of the leg skeletal muscle in women. In males, IMT was mainly positively related to the leg skeletal muscle volume. IM-GSM was inversely related to the volume of the SAT in the upper part of the body, leg skeletal muscle, the liver and intraabdominal fat in both men and women. Conclusion The voxel-based Imiomics technique provided a detailed view of how the echogenicity of the carotid artery wall was related to body composition, being inversely related to the volume of the major fat depots, as well as leg skeletal muscle.
Keywords: Adipose tissue / Magnetic resonance imaging / Legs / Carotid arteries / Skeletal muscles / Fats / Blood pressure / Pancreas

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