Ultrasound Measurement of Visceral and Subcutaneous Fat in Morbidly Obese Patients Before and after Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding: Comparison with Computerized Tomography and with Anthropometric Measurements
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Background: There are now a variety of methods to assess body fat distribution, anthropometric (waist circumference and waist/hip W/H ratio), computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound (US) measurements, with CT considered as the reference method. Bariatric surgery leads to a significant and usually durable weight loss in morbidly obese patients; when assessing its results, it is of interest to measure changes of total fat tissue and of body fat distribution. Methods: In this study, we compared anthropometric, US, and CT measurements of body fat distribution under basal conditions and 1 year after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB); 120 morbidly obese patients were considered at baseline, and 40 patients were re-evaluated 1 year after LAGB. Results: Thickness of visceral and subcutaneous fat measured through CT and US methods was superimposable both under basal conditions and 1 year after LAGB, and the highest correlation was found between CT and US data on visceral fat, followed by CT and US data on subcutaneous fat; a fair correlation was also found between CT and US data on visceral fat and waist circumference. Conclusion:We suggest that evaluation of body fat distribution is accomplished by US instead of CT measurement, because of its lower cost and low exposure risk. Waist circumference stands as a reasonable surrogate of both methods, while W/H ratio is poorly correlated with other measures of body fat distribution.
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