Infrared thermography in the detection of brown adipose tissue in humans

Jang, Christina, Jalapu, Sandya, Thuzar, Moe, Law, Phillip W., Jeavons, Susanne, Barclay, Johanna L. and Ho, Ken K. Y. (2014) Infrared thermography in the detection of brown adipose tissue in humans. Physiological Reports, 2 11: e12167.1-e12167.7. doi:10.14814/phy2.12167

Author Jang, Christina
Jalapu, Sandya
Thuzar, Moe
Law, Phillip W.
Jeavons, Susanne
Barclay, Johanna L.
Ho, Ken K. Y.
Title Infrared thermography in the detection of brown adipose tissue in humans
Journal name Physiological Reports   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2051-817X
Publication date 2014-11-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.14814/phy2.12167
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 2
Issue 11
Start page e12167.1
End page e12167.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher The American Physiological Society and the Physiological Society
Language eng
Formatted abstract
PET-CT using 18F-FDG is employed for detecting brown adipose tissue (BAT) in humans. Alternative methods are needed because of the radiation and cost of PET-CT imaging. The aim was to evaluate the accuracy of infrared thermography (IRT) in detecting human BAT benchmarked to PET-CT imaging. Seventeen individuals underwent a total of 29 PET-CT scans, 12 of whom were studied twice, after 2 h of cold stimulation at 19°C, in parallel with measurement of skin temperatures overlying the supraclavicular (SCV) fossa and the lateral upper chest (control), before and after cold stimulation. Of the 29 scans, 20 were BAT positive after cold stimulation. The mean left SCV temperature tended to be higher in the BAT-positive group before and during cooling. It was significantly higher (P = 0.04) than the temperature of the control area, which fell significantly during cooling in the BAT-positive (1.2 0.3°C, P = 0.002) but not in the negative (0.2 0.4°C) group. The temperature difference (Dtemp) between left SCV and chest increased during cooling in the BAT-positive (1.2 0.2 to 2.0 0.3°C, P < 0.002) but not in the negative group (0.6 0.1 to 0.7 0.1°C). A Dtemp of 0.9°C conferred a positive predictive value of 85% for SCV BAT, superior to that of SCV temperature. The findings were similar on the right. In conclusion, the Dtemp is significantly and consistently greater in BAT-positive subjects. The Dtemp quantified by IRT after 2-h cooling shows promise as a noninvasive convenient technique for studying SCV BAT function.

Keyword Brown adipose tissue
Infrared thermography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Mon, 29 Dec 2014, 21:54:49 EST by Moe Thuzar on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital