CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Journal of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology 2021; 04(01): 049-057
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1718251
Review Article

Not Just Fat: Imaging in Abdominal Fat Pathology

Aruna R. Patil
1   Department of Radiology, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Shrivalli Nandikoor
1   Department of Radiology, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Pramod Jagannath
2   Department of Gastrointestinal, HPB and Minimal Access Surgery, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Amit Bansal
2   Department of Gastrointestinal, HPB and Minimal Access Surgery, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
› Author Affiliations


Fat in abdomen has diverse distribution and function. Insult to fat due to several causes can result in infarction or necrosis and present as acute abdomen clinically. Intra-abdominal focal fat infarction is one such condition that comprises of epiploic appendagitis, perigastric appendagitis, omental infarction, and torsion of fatty appendage of falciform ligament that have characteristic imaging features. Secondary causes of fat necrosis include pancreatitis or trauma related. Metabolic or responsive fat changes, like hypertrophy and dystrophy, can be diagnosed on imaging especially on computed tomography. Mesentric fat stranding including the mesentric panniculitis spectrum poses diagnostic dilemma and the causes and imaging role are covered in this review. Some infections and neoplasms that preferably affect abdominal fat compartments may mimic benign conditions, although some have specific patterns of involvement.

Publication History

Article published online:
22 October 2020

© 2020. Indian Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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