Comparison of Local Adipose Tissue Content and SRS-Derived NIRS Muscle Oxygenation Measurements in 90 Individuals

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Adipose content in the region over the vastus lateralis muscle was measured in a young (21.1 ± 3.1 years old, mean ± SD) population of males (n = 62) and females (n = 28). Three techniques were used: skinfold thickness, ultrasound and near infrared spectroscopy. All techniques closely correlated with each other and all showed a significantly larger adipose content in females and a limited overlap with the range of values in males. Spatially resolved near infrared spectroscopy (SRS-NIRS) was then used to measure the tissue oxygenation index (TOI) at the same site. A source-detector separation of 4 cm was used to allow for significant light penetration into muscle tissue. TOI at rest was significantly higher in the female (65.3 ± 7.0, mean ± SD) than the male (61.9 ± 5.1, mean ± SD) group. There was a strong positive correlation between adipose content and TOI in male subjects. However, no correlation was seen in the female group. The possible optical and physiological explanations for these results are discussed.