Internal Medicine: Open Access

Internal Medicine: Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-8048


Non-invasive Imaging Methods for Brown Adipose Tissue Detection and Function Evaluation

Yaqi Zhang, Xiaofei Hu, Su Hu, Alessandro Scotti, Kejia Cai, Jian Wang, Xin Zhou, Ding Yang, Matteo Figini, Liang Pan, Junjie Shangguan, Jia Yang and Zhouli Zhang

Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) has a major role in thermoregulation, producing heat by non-shivering thermogenesis. Primarily found in animals and human infants, the presence of significant brown adipose tissue was identified only recently, and its metabolic role in adults was reconsidered. BAT is believed to have an important role in many metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and also to be associated with cancer cachexia. Therefore, it is currently a topic of great interest in the research community, and many groups are investigating the mechanisms underlying BAT metabolism in normal and pathological conditions. However, well established noninvasive methods for assessing BAT distribution and function are still lacking. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current state of the art of these methods, with a particular focus on PET, CT and MRI.