Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 1146–1153 | Cite as

Differential effect of gender on hepatic fat

  • Vicente Gilsanz
  • Sandra A. Chung
  • Neil Kaplowitz
Original Article



There are discrepant data on whether men or women have a higher risk for hepatic steatosis.


To examine the influence of gender on hepatic adiposity in teenagers and young adults.

Materials and methods

We measured subcutaneous abdominal fat (SAF), intra-abdominal fat (IAF) and hepatic tissue density (a surrogate measure of hepatic fat) using CT in 505 healthy teenagers and young adults (254 males, 251 females; ages 15–22.9 years).


Overall, compared to men, women had higher values of SAF (P < 0.0001) but similar measures of IAF and liver tissue density (P = 0.09 and 0.92, respectively). However, when compared to overweight/obese men, overweight/obese women had strikingly similar IAF values (P = 0.85) but lower hepatic fat (P = 0.009). Multiple regression analyses indicated that, after adjusting for age and SAF, IAF independently predicted hepatic density in males (P < 0.0001) but not in females (P = 0.36). Hepatic fat increased with body mass in males from lean to overweight and obese (P < 0.0001) but not in females (P > 0.05).


When compared to overweight and obese young women, overweight and obese young men are at greater risk for hepatic steatosis, independent of IAF.


Hepatic Fat Intra-abdominal fat Gender difference CT 



Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Intra-abdominal fat


Body mass index


Waist circumference


Subcutaneous abdominal fat


Hounsfield units



This work is supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (1R01 AR052744-01) and from the Department of the Army (DAMD17-01-1-0817).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicente Gilsanz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sandra A. Chung
    • 1
  • Neil Kaplowitz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, MS 81Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC, Keck School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsChildren’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC, Keck School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.USC Research Center for Liver DiseaseUSC, Keck School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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