The impact of using BARCIST 1.0 criteria on quantification of BAT volume and activity in three independent cohorts of adults
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AuthorMartínez Téllez, Borja Manuel; Nahon, Kimberly J.; Sánchez-Delgado, Guillermo; Abreu-Vieira, Gustavo; Llamas Elvira, José Manuel; Van Velden, Floris H. P.; Pereira, Lenka M.; Arias-Bouda; Rensen, Patrick C. N.; Boon, Mariëtte R.; Ruiz, Jonatan R.
Martinez-Tellez, Borja; et. al. The impact of using BARCIST 1.0 criteria on quantification of BAT volume and activity in three independent cohorts of adults. SCIENTIFIC ReporTS (2018) 8:8567 [https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-26878-4.]
Human brown adipose tissue (BAT) is commonly assessed by cold-induced 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET-CT using several quantification criteria. Uniform criteria for data analysis became available recently (BARCIST 1.0). We compared BAT volume and activity following BARCIST 1.0 criteria against the most commonly used criteria [Hounsfield Units (HU):-250, -50, standardized uptake value (SUV):2.0; HU: Not applied, SUV:2.0 and HU:-180, -10, SUV:1.5] in a prospective study using three independent cohorts of men including young lean adults, young overweight/obese adults and middle-aged overweight/obese adults. BAT volume was the most variable outcome between criteria. While BAT volume calculated using the HU: NA; SUV: 2.0 criteria was up to 207% higher than the BAT volume calculated based on BARCIST 1.0 criteria, it was up to 57% lower using the HU: -250, -50; SUV: 2.0 criteria compared to the BARCIST 1.0. Similarly, BAT activity (expressed as SUVmean) also differed between different thresholds mainly because SUVmean depends on BAT volume. SUVpeak was the most consistent BAT outcome across the four study criteria. Of note, we replicated these findings in three independent cohorts. In conclusion, BAT volume and activity as determined by 18F-FDG-PET/CT highly depend on the quantification criteria used. Future human BAT studies should conduct sensitivity analysis with different thresholds in order to understand whether results are driven by the selected HU and/or SUV thresholds. The design of the present study precludes providing any conclusive threshold, but before more definitive thresholds for HU and SUV are available, we support the use of BARCIST 1.0 criteria to facilitate interpretation of BAT characteristics between research groups.