Diabetes is associated with a deterioration of the microvasculature in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and with a decrease in its metabolic activity. Multispectral optoacoustic tomography has been recently proposed as a new tool capable of differentiating healthy and diabetic BAT by observing hemoglobin gradients and microvasculature density in cross-sectional (2D) views. We report on the use of spiral volumetric optoacoustic tomography (SVOT) for an improved characterization of BAT.
A streptozotocin-induced diabetes model and control mice were scanned with SVOT. Volumetric oxygen saturation (sO2) as well as total blood volume (TBV) in the subcutaneous interscapular BAT (iBAT) was quantified. Segmentation further enabled separating feeding and draining vessels from the BAT anatomical structure.
Scanning revealed a 46 % decrease in TBV and a 25 % decrease in sO2 in the diabetic iBAT with respect to the healthy control.
These results suggest that SVOT may serve as an effective tool for studying the effects of diabetes on BAT. The volumetric optoacoustic imaging probe used for the SVOT scans can be operated in a handheld mode, thus potentially providing a clinical translation route for BAT-related studies with this imaging technology.