Sex and body mass index implications on gluteofemoral subcutaneous tissue morphology visualized by ultrasonography – preliminary study

Agnieszka Krauze1, Justyna Nowak2, Katarzyna Słoboda1, Robert Krzysztof Mlosek1, Katarzyna Dobruch-Sobczak1, Witold Woźniak3, Piotr Ciostek3

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2019; 19: 105–112
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2019.0015

Introduction: Since the protective value of gluteofemoral subcutaneous adipose tissue against cardiovascular risk factors has already been described in scientific reports, it is important to pay more attention to its evaluation. Aim of the study: The purpose of this study was to evaluate sex and body mass index implications on gluteofemoral subcutaneous tissue morphology visualized by ultrasonography. Material and method: A population of 40 participants between 20–50 years of age was examined. All individuals underwent the ultrasound examination of subcutaneous adipose tissue in three locations: anterior, posterior and lateral side of a thigh in the 1/3 distal part. All examinations were collected, and the following parameters were evaluated: thickness of subcutaneous adipose tissue in general, thickness of superficial and deep subcutaneous adipose tissue. Results: The study revealed significant differences in the architecture of subcutaneous adipose tissue between male and female subgroups. In the group of males, a significantly thinner layer of not only subcutaneous adipose tissue in general (0.65 vs. 1.67 cm, p <0.0001), but also in its main compartments was observed. Moreover, we observed strong positive correlation between body mass index and all subcutaneous adipose tissue layers in the female subgroup. Interestingly, there was no relation between the thickness of the subcutaneous adipose tissue layers between subgroups with a decreased and normal body mass index and an increased body mass index. Conclusions: The presented data indicates that sex is an important factor in the determination of subcutaneous adipose tissue architecture of a thigh. The ultrasound examination of this structure can be a useful prognostic tool in the assessment of cardiovascular risk.

subcutaneous adipose tissue, gluteofemoral, sex, BMI, ultrasonography