, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 207-212
Date: 17 Aug 2010

The Prevalence and Characteristics of Brown Adipose Tissue in an 18F-FDG PET Study of Koreans

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The object of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in Korean subjects using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET).


Six thousand and five consecutive 18F-FDG PET/CT scans of 5,115 patients (3,007 females and 2,108 males, mean age 53.5 years) were retrospectively reviewed. We characterized the nature of BAT, such as its location, and we assessed the influence of sex, age, body mass index (BMI), and temperature on BAT.


The prevalence of BAT in Koreans in a single 18F-FDG PET/CT scan in average conditions was 1.07%. The BAT detection rate was higher in females than males (1.32% vs 0.73%), and also with younger age (7.94% vs 0.73%), lower BMI (BMI with BAT, 21.1 vs BMI without BAT, 23.15) and cold outdoor temperature (1.65% vs 0.49%). The most frequent location of BAT was the supraclavicular area (left, 0.91%; right, 0.88%) and ventral neck area (left, 0.62%; right, 0.63%).


The characteristics of BAT in Koreans are not different from those described for Caucasians. However, the low prevalence of BAT in our study might be related to some scan condition like ambient temperature, but further study is needed.