Association of pancreatic fat content with type II diabetes mellitus

C. Nadarajah, G. Fananapazir, E. Cui, J. Gichoya, N. Thayalan, M. Asare-Sawiri, C. O. Menias, K. Sandrasegaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


AIM: To determine the association between regional fat content in the pancreas and the presence or absence of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the value of regional pancreatic fat quantification in identifying patients at risk of T2DM, and whether pancreatic fat content is associated with glycaemic control in T2DM. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective survey of a radiology database identified 45 patients with T2DM, and 81 “at risk for T2DM” patients who developed diabetes, between 0.6 and 3.7 years after magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A control group who did not develop diabetes during a 5-year follow-up and without known metabolic syndrome, liver, or pancreatic diseases were also identified. Fat content was measured by placing regions of interest (ROIs) on in-phase and out-of-phase chemical shift MRI images. Multiple clinical parameters including body mass index, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c; in T2DM group) were collected. RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the T2DM and control groups for fat fraction in the pancreatic head (p=0.043), body (p=0.015), and tail (p=0.001), but not liver (p=0.107). On regression analysis, only the fat fraction within the pancreatic tail was significantly different between control group and “at risk” for T2DM group (p=0.007). A pancreatic tail fat content of >10% had a sensitivity of 45.5% and specificity of 81.3% for predicting development of T2DM within 4 years. Pancreatic fat content was not associated with glycaemic control. CONCLUSIONS: Increased fat in the pancreatic tail may identify patients at risk for T2DM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of pancreatic fat content with type II diabetes mellitus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this