FRIDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Peak brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity occurs in adolescence among both boys and girls and is inversely associated with body mass index (BMI)-percentile, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in The Journal of Pediatrics.
Laura A. Drubach, M.D., from the Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues reviewed 385 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron-emission tomography scans for various oncologic indications in 172 patients between the ages of 5 and 21 years to evaluate the prevalence and factors affecting the detection of active BAT in children and adolescents. They also compared the detection rates with those for adults, as described in other studies. BAT activity was identified visually as present or absent in the neck, thorax, and abdomen, based on its typical appearance, followed by quantification by comparing the FDG activity in the cervical-supraclavicular depots and in the liver.
The investigators found no difference between the BAT detection rate in boys (43.3 percent) and girls (45.3 percent), with BAT activity occurring most often in the cervical-supraclavicular depots. The highest percentage of patients with detectable BAT and the highest BAT/liver activity for both boys and girls was found in the group aged 13 to 14.99 years. BAT activity had a significant inverse association with BMI percentile, and there was no correlation with the outdoor temperature or clinical diagnosis.
"Under clinical imaging conditions, peak BAT activity occurs in adolescence, and is inversely correlated with BMI percentile," the authors write.
The study was partially supported by the Eli Lilly Foundation.
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