Metabolic imaging of fatty kidney in diabesity: Validation and dietary intervention

Jacqueline T. Jonker, Paul De Heer, Marten A. Engelse, Evelien H. Van Rossenberg, Celine Q.F. Klessens, Hans J. Baelde, Ingeborg M. Bajema, Sietse Jan Koopmans, Paulo G. Coelho, Trea C.M. Streefland, Andrew G. Webb, Ilona A. Dekkers, Ton J. Rabelink, Patrick C.N. Rensen, Hildo J. Lamb, Aiko P.J. De Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Obesity and type 2 diabetes have not only been linked to fatty liver, but also to fatty kidney and chronic kidney disease. Since non-invasive tools are lacking to study fatty kidney in clinical studies, we explored agreement between proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1 H-MRS) and enzymatic assessment of renal triglyceride content (without and with dietary intervention). We further studied the correlation between fatty kidney and fatty liver. Methods Triglyceride content in the renal cortex was measured by 1 H-MRS on a 7-Tesla scanner in 27 pigs, among which 15 minipigs had been randomized to a 7-month control diet, cafeteria diet (CAF) or CAF with low-dose streptozocin (CAF-S) to induce insulin-independent diabetes. Renal biopsies were taken from corresponding MRS-voxel locations. Additionally, liver biopsies were taken and triglyceride content in all biopsies was measured by enzymatic assay. Results Renal triglyceride content measured by 1 H-MRS and enzymatic assay correlated positively (r = 0.86, P < 0.0001). Compared with control diet-fed minipigs, renal triglyceride content was higher in CAF-S-fed minipigs (137 ± 51 nmol/mg protein, mean ± standard error of the mean, P < 0.05), but not in CAF-fed minipigs (60 ± 10 nmol/mg protein) compared with controls (40 ± 6 nmol/mg protein). Triglyceride contents in liver and kidney biopsies were strongly correlated (r = 0.97, P < 0.001). Conclusions Non-invasive measurement of renal triglyceride content by 1 H-MRS closely predicts triglyceride content as measured enzymatically in biopsies, and fatty kidney appears to develop parallel to fatty liver. 1 H-MRS may be a valuable tool to explore the role of fatty kidney in obesity and type 2 diabetic nephropathy in humans in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • chronic kidney disease
  • fatty kidney
  • proton magnetic
  • renal triglyceride content
  • resonance spectroscopy
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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