Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 3295–3303 | Cite as

Measurement of spleen fat on MRI-proton density fat fraction arises from reconstruction of noise

  • Cheng William HongEmail author
  • Gavin Hamilton
  • Catherine Hooker
  • Charlie C. Park
  • Calvin Andrew Tran
  • Walter C. Henderson
  • Jonathan C. Hooker
  • Soudabeh Fazeli Dehkordy
  • Jeffrey B. Schwimmer
  • Scott B. Reeder
  • Claude B. SirlinEmail author



This study compares splenic proton density fat fraction (PDFF) measured using confounder-corrected chemical shift-encoded (CSE)-MRI to magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in human patients at 3T.


This was a prospectively designed ancillary study to various previously described single-center studies performed in adults and children with known or suspected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Patients underwent magnitude-based MRI (MRI-M), complex-based MRI (MRI-C), high signal-to-noise variants (Hi-SNR MRI-M and Hi-SNR MRI-C), and MRS at 3T for spleen PDFF estimation. PDFF from CSE-MRI methods were compared to MRS-PDFF using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Demographics were summarized descriptively. Spearman’s rank correlations were computed pairwise between CSE-MRI methods. Individual patient measurements were plotted for qualitative assessment. A significance level of 0.05 was used.


Forty-seven patients (20 female, 27 male) including 12 adults (median 55 years old) and 35 children (median 12 years old). Median PDFF estimated by MRS, MRI-M, Hi-SNR MRI-M, MRI-C, and Hi-SNR MRI-C was 1.0, 2.3, 1.9, 2.2, and 2.0%. The four CSE-MRI methods estimated statistically significant higher spleen PDFF values compared to MRS (p < 0.0001 for all). Pairwise associations in spleen PDFF values measured by different CSE-MRI methods were weak, with the highest Spearman’s rank correlations being 0.295 between MRI-M and Hi-SNR MRI-M; none were significant after correction for multiple comparisons. No qualitative relationship was observed between PDFF measurements among the various methods.


Overestimation of PDFF by CSE-MRI compared to MRS and poor agreement between related CSE-MRI methods suggest that non-zero PDFF values in human spleen are artifactual.


Spleen Fat quantification Spectroscopy CSE-MRI Artifactual 



The authors would like to acknowledge Grant Support from the National Institutes of Health T32 EB005970-09, R01 DK106419-02, R01 DK083380, K24 DK102595, R01 DK088925, and R01 DK100651-03. We also acknowledge GE Healthcare who provides research support to UCSD and UW-Madison.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng William Hong
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Gavin Hamilton
    • 1
  • Catherine Hooker
    • 1
  • Charlie C. Park
    • 1
  • Calvin Andrew Tran
    • 1
  • Walter C. Henderson
    • 1
  • Jonathan C. Hooker
    • 1
  • Soudabeh Fazeli Dehkordy
    • 1
  • Jeffrey B. Schwimmer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Scott B. Reeder
    • 4
  • Claude B. Sirlin
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Liver Imaging Group, Department of RadiologyUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.Department of GastroenterologyRady Children’s Hospital San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Radiology, Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine, and Emergency MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin MadisonMadisonUSA
  5. 5.San DiegoUSA
  6. 6.La JollaUSA

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