Regional differences in intramyocellular lipids in humans observed by in vivo 1H-MR spectroscopic imaging

Jong Hee Hwang, Jullie W. Pan, S. Heydari, Hoby P. Hetherington, Daniel T. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Regional differences in the content of intramyocellular lipids (IMCL), extramyocellular lipids, and total creatine (TCr) were quantified in soleus (S), tibialis posterior (TP), and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles in humans using in vivo 1H proton spectroscopic imaging at 4 T. Improved spatial resolution (0.25-ml nominal voxel resolution) made it feasible to measure IMCL in S, TP, and TA simultaneously in vivo. The most significant regional difference was found in the content of IMCL compared with extramyocellular lipids or TCr. The concentrations of TCr were found to be 29-32 mmol/kg, with little regional variation. IMCL content was measured to be 4.8 ± 1.6 mmol/kg tissue wt in S, 2.8 ± 1.3 mmol/kg tissue wt in TP, and 1.6 ± 0.9 mmol/kg tissue wt in TA in the order of S > TP > TA (P < 0.05). It is likely that these IMCL values are consistent with the known fiber types of these muscles, with S having the greatest fraction of type I (slow-twitch, oxidative) fibers and TA having a large fraction of type IIb (fast-twitch, glycolytic) fibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Body composition
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Phosphocreatine
  • Quantification
  • Triglyceride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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