Evaluating the fat distribution in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension using Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Catherine Hornby
  • Connar Westgate
  • James Mitchell
  • Susan Mollan
  • Jeremy Tomlinson

External organisations

  • Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR); University of Birmingham; B15 2TT UK
  • University of Oxford


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is strongly associated with obesity. We aimed to utilise dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to characterise fat distribution, and to evaluate change in fat mass and distribution following weight loss. IIH patients (n = 24) had a similar fat distribution to body mass index (BMI)– and gender-matched obese controls (n = 47). In the IIH cohort, truncal fat mass correlated with lumbar puncture pressure. Weight loss in IIH patients resulted in a significant reduction in disease activity and fat mass, predominantly from the truncal region (−4.40 ± 1.6%; p = 0.008) compared with the limbs (+0.79 ± 6.5%; p = 0.71). These results indicate that, contrary to previous studies using waist-hip ratios, IIH adiposity is centripetal, similar to simple obesity. Future studies should establish the risk of the metabolic syndrome and the role of adipose tissue depot–specific function in IIH.


Original languageEnglish
Early online date20 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2017


  • DEXA, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, obesity