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  • Author
    Hannah Parish
  • PI

    Dr. Holden Wu

  • Co-Author

    Shu-Fu Shih, MS; Sevgi Kafali, MS; Tess Armstrong, PhD; Shahnaz Ghahremani, MD; Kara Calkins, MD, MS; Holden Wu, PhD

  • Title

    Investigating Infant Lean Body Mass using Free-Breathing Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • Program


  • Other Program (if not listed above)

  • Abstract

    Lean body mass is an important measure of metabolic ability. Decreased lean body mass during infancy may be associated with impaired growth and an increased risk for future metabolic disease. The Pediatric Magnetic Resonance Research Imaging (MRI) research team at UCLA has developed and validated new free-breathing MRI technology to effectively measure body composition in children and infants without the need for breath-holding or sedation. The research team has successfully used free-breathing MRI to measure visceral adipose tissue, subcutaneous adipose tissue, and hepatic proton-density fat fraction (a biomarker for hepatic fat) in infants. This current project aims to measure lean body mass in infants using free-breathing MRI. A large component of LBM is skeletal muscle mass, and skeletal muscle has been used as a proxy for LBM in previous studies of body composition. Skeletal muscle mass was measured in infants at the L4-L5 intervertebral disc level on free-breathing MRI. Infant MRIs were analyzed for cross-sectional area of the psoas and paraspinal skeletal muscles at the L4-L5 intervertebral disc level. Skeletal muscle measurements were then compared with previously measured markers of infant growth. More work is needed to determine statistical correlations and characterize associations between infant LBM and other measures of body composition, maternal characteristics, and neurodevelopment.

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