COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

Physiologic Plasticity of Intramyocardial Lipid Storage

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01921075
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 13, 2013
Last Update Posted : August 13, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Hospital Inselspital, Berne

Brief Summary:

The main goal of the present study was to provide a technical basis for future studies assessing the role of cardiac lipids. More specifically, non-invasive MR-Spectroscopy (MRS) techniques will be used in this study to:

  1. assess the methodological reproducibility of MRS-measurements of cardiac lipids in humans
  2. investigate physiological variations of cardiac lipids by measuring day-to-day changes under identical conditions
  3. determining diurnal variations of cardiac lipids in humans

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Lipid Metabolism Other: normal dietary behavior Other: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Detailed Description:


Obesity is a well known risk factor for the development of glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and, consequently, diabetic complications like cardiovascular disease. Importantly, obesity is not only associated with lipid accumulation in adipose tissue (orthotopic fat deposition), but also in non-adipose tissues (ectopic fat deposition). Clinical studies have repetitively shown that muscular and hepatic lipid accumulation as well as elevated visceral adipose tissue is associated with the development of central and peripheral insulin resistance. In addition, recent data from animal studies show increasing evidence that two other organs, the heart and the pancreas, may also be involved in the pathophysiological processes of reduced insulin sensitivity. While reduced insulin secretion in the course of type 2 diabetes has been well documented, the importance of pancreatic fat deposition as an early step in this process has only recently been suggested based on animal models. Conversely, ischemic heart disease is one of the most dangerous complications of diabetes mellitus, its prevention thereby being a cornerstone of current diabetes management. Recent data suggest that changes in the lipid metabolism of the heart and associated epi- and myocardial lipid deposition may be earliest signs of diabetic cardiopathy.

Magnetic-Resonance-Imaging (MRI) and -Spectroscopy (MRS) are among the most versatile methods for non-invasive studies of human tissue and/or metabolism in vivo and in situ. The excellent soft tissue contrast of MRI has already led to the implementation of this method for the assessment of whole body lipid accumulation, whereas MRS has successfully been applied to study lipid metabolism of skeletal muscle and liver. The extended application of this method towards heart and pancreas will allow a comprehensive investigation of orthotopic and ectopic fat deposition in humans and its association with the development of insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus.

The methodological part of the study will focus on the physiologic plasticity of cardiac lipids in order to assess:

i) methodological reproducibility ii) intra-individual physiological reproducibility by measuring day-to-day variations as well as variations during the day.


i) Adapting and optimizing the single-voxel MRS sequence that is currently used for muscle and liver, such that respiratory and cardiac double-triggering enables spectroscopy of the cardiac muscle.

ii) Validate the methodology under different standardized physiologic conditions.


Cardiac lipids are determined during five independent MR-examinations distributed over two days separated by one or two weeks. Both days included a measurement in the morning after an overnight fast (>8h) and one in the afternoon (8h after breakfast, 3.5h after lunch). To determine methodological reproducibility, the afternoon measurement was repeated on one of the two days (1h break). Preparation of the volunteers included perpetuation of their normal diet, but restricted physical activity for two preceding days. Cardiac lipids were determined by single-voxel MR-Spectroscopy.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 9 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Patterns and Plasticity of Orthotopic and Ectopic Fat Deposition and Associations With Insulin Sensitivity: A Magnetic-resonance-imaging and -Spectroscopy Study in Lean and Obese Individuals: Methodological Part
Study Start Date : January 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2011

Group/Cohort Intervention/treatment
young (age<30), healthy, lean (BMI<25) volunteers
Other: normal dietary behavior
normal dietary behavior during examination days

Other: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Non-invasive diagnostic procedure

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Intramyocardial lipid content [ Time Frame: at baseline (morning of examination day 1) ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Intramyocardial lipid content [ Time Frame: evening of examination day 1, i.e. 8 hours after baseline ]
  2. Intramyocardial lipid content [ Time Frame: morning of examination day 2, i.e. 7 days after baseline ]
  3. Intramyocardial lipid content [ Time Frame: evening of examination day 2, i.e. 7 days & 8 hours after baseline ]
  4. Intra-individual variation of intramyocardial lipid content [ Time Frame: evening of examination day one, i.e. 8 hours after baseline ]
    Difference between evening and morning measurement within examination day one

  5. Intra-individual variation of intramyocardial lipid content [ Time Frame: evening of examination day two, i.e. 7 days & 8 hours after baseline ]
    Difference between evening and morning measurement within examination day two

  6. Intra-individual difference of intramyocardial lipid content (morning) over one week [ Time Frame: morning of examination day one, i.e. 7 days after baseline ]
    Difference between morning measurements of examination day 1 and examination day 2

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 30 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
males between the age of 18 and 30 years with either a BMI of 18-24

Inclusion Criteria:

  • male
  • age 18-30
  • BMI <25
  • healthy
  • written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • contraindications to MRI examinations (claustrophobia, implanted devices (pacemaker, insulin pump, neurostimulators))

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01921075

Layout table for location information
Institute of Diagnostic Interventional and Pediatric Radiology, University Hospital Bern
Bern, Switzerland, CH-3010
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Hospital Inselspital, Berne
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Ith, PhD & MD/PhD University Institute of Diagnostic Interventional and Pediatric Radiology of the Inselspital Bern
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: University Hospital Inselspital, Berne Identifier: NCT01921075    
Other Study ID Numbers: 124/08
1587 ( Other Identifier: Inselspital )
First Posted: August 13, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 13, 2013
Last Verified: August 2013
Keywords provided by University Hospital Inselspital, Berne:
physiology, normal function