Validation of the measurement of intra-abdominal fat between ultrasound and CT scan in women with obesity and infertility


  • Funding agencies: This work was supported by a grant from the UMCG, The Netherlands and a research grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands.

  • Disclosure: Competing interests: the authors have no competing interests.

    Author contributions: All authors were involved in the conception and design of the study. WK, HP and JB contributed to data collection. WK, HG, BW, JL, AH and EC contributed to the analysis and writing of the manuscript. All authors critically reviewed and approved the submitted and published versions of the manuscript.



To compare the means and changes over time of intra-abdominal fat (IAF) and subcutaneous abdominal fat (SAF) measured by abdominal ultrasound (US) and computerized tomography (CT).

Design and Methods

Prospective cohort study of 53 women with obesity and infertility undergoing a lifestyle program.


The Pearson's correlation between IAF measurement by US compared to CT was good at baseline, month 3 and 6 (all r ≥ 0.72). The correlation of SAF measurement by US compared to CT was reasonable at baseline (r = 0.54; 95%CI 0.30-0.78) and weak at month 3 and 6 (all r ≤ 0.39). The correlation between the changes in IAF over 3 and 6 months by US compared to CT was reasonable and significant respectively (all r > 0.48). US could not measure the changes of SAF over time. The Bland–Altman plot showed good agreement between US and CT for IAF measurements (−1.1 [95%CI -3.9-1.6] cm lower mean in US) at baseline. For changes of IAF over time, mean estimates were in agreement.


In women with obesity and infertility, measuring IAF by US is in good agreement with the CT scan methodology but the measurement of SAF by US is unreliable.