Background

Ectopic fat deposition may be associated with organ dysfunction and increased metabolic risk. We quantified ectopic fat deposits in Asian Indian subjects using MRI scan and developed equations using simple parameters to predict the ectopic fat deposits.

Methods

This cross-sectional study included 175 subjects (101 males, 74 females) in the age group of 18-55 years, 98 with and 77 without metabolic syndrome (MetSynd), defined according to the harmonizing definition of MetSynd with Asian specific criteria for waist circumference. Body composition was measured by BIA method and MRI was used to quantify hepatic, epicardial and pancreatic fat deposits. Biochemical measurements included OGTT, lipids and fasting insulin. Stepwise regression analysis was undertaken using age, gender, BMI and waist circumference, fasting and 2 hr blood glucose, fasting insulin, lipids and presence of metabolic syndrome to develop equations to predict these ectopic fat deposits.

Results

Hepatic, Epicardial and Pancreatic fat quantity was higher in subjects with MetSynd. Hepatic fat and pancreatic fat were independently associated with insulin levels after adjusting for other anthropometric parameters. Using stepwise regression analysis the following equations were developed:Liver fat = 10[-2.25+(0.45 x MetSynd; yes=1, no=0)+(0.34 X logALT)+(0.38 x logF.insulin)+(0.20 x WC)]; R2=0.337; Adj R2=0.310Epicardial fat= 10[-1.76+(0.03 x Age)-(0.32 x Sex; males=1, females=2)+(0.05 x BMI)+(0.27 x MetSynd; yes=1, no=0)]; R2=0.397; Adj R2=0.372Pancreatic fat= 10[-3.70+(0.03 x Age)+(0.002x TG)+(0.03 x WC)]; R2=0.400; Adj R2=0.362

Conclusions

Ectopic fat deposits are significantly associated with insulin resistance and accurate measurements are cumbersome. The equations developed using simple parameters may be useful to predict the ectopic fat deposits in clinical setting and may be helpful for risk stratification and institution of appropriate management strategies.