Ildiko Lingvay1, Angela L. Price1, Jaime Legendre1, Sarmistha Sen1, Lidia S. Szczepaniak2
1Internal Medicine, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA; 2Internal Medicine & Radiology, University of Texas, southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA
Obesity is known to influence insulin sensitivity, but its direct effect on insulin secretion is still debated. The lipotoxicity hypothesis provides a unifying link between chronic positive energy balance and metabolic syndrome abnormalities. Accumulation of fat in the human liver, skeletal muscle, and the heart, along with associated decline in the function of these organs, has been confirmed by previous clinical studies, yet data on fat accumulation in the human pancreas is limited to autopsy reports, and there is very limited information regarding the relationship between insulin secretion and pancreatic fat accumulation. We performed studies in humans to determine whether proton-localized magnetic resonance spectroscopy can be used to noninvasively assess pancreatic steatosis. We performed a series of studies in healthy human volunteers to document the reproducibility of the pancreatic triglyceride measurement in vivo and examined the cross-sectional relationship between pancreatic triglyceride content, body mass index, and glycemic status.