Ectopic and serum lipids are associated with marrow fat in obesity

1H Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of bone marrow at L4 vertebrae shows lipid (1.3 ppm) and unsuppressed water (4.7 ppm) resonances. Both spectra are from BMI-matched subjects. Note the relatively elevated lipid peak in the left image, suggestive of increased bone marrow fat content and increased fracture risk.

1H Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of bone marrow at L4 vertebrae shows lipid (1.3 ppm) and unsuppressed water (4.7 ppm) resonances. Both spectra are from BMI-matched subjects. Note the relatively elevated lipid peak in the left image, suggestive of increased bone marrow fat content.

In a study in the journal Radiology, Bredella and colleagues used 1H-MRS to quantify bone marrow fat content, intramyocellular lipids and intrahepatic lipids, concluding that ectopic and serum lipids are positively associated with bone marrow fat in obese men and women.

Because bone marrow fat is known to be inversely related to BMD, these results support the notion that ectopic and serum lipid levels are influenced by the same additional factors as bone marrow or may exert negative effects on bone.

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