Objectives To investigate changes of fat in bone marrow (BM) and paraspinal muscle (PSM) associated with the degree of fatty liver in pediatric patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in consideration of age and body mass index (BMI). Methods Hepatic fat, BM fat, and PSM fat from proton density fat fraction of liver MRI between June 2015 and April 2019 were quantitatively evaluated on axial images of the fat map at the mid-level of T11-L2 vertebral bodies for BM fat and at the mid-level of L2 for PSM fat. Age, height, and weight at the time of MRI were recorded and BMI was calculated. Correlation analysis was performed. Results A total of 147 patients (114 male) were included with a mean age of 13.3 ± 2.9 years (range 7–18 years). The mean fat fractions were 24.3 ± 13.0% (2–53%) in liver, 37.4 ± 8.6% (17.3–56%) in vertebral BM, and 2.7 ± 1.1% (1.0–6.9%) in PSM. Age, height, weight, and BMI were not correlated with liver fat or BM fat. However, weight (ρ = 0.174, p = 0.035) and BMI (ρ = 0.247, p = 0.003) were positively correlated with PSM fat. Liver fat showed positive correlation with BM fat when adjusting age and BMI (ρ = 0.309, p<0.001), but not with PSM fat. Conclusions BM fat positively correlates with liver fat, but not with age or BMI in pediatric NAFLD patients.
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