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Measurement of Subcutaneous Fat Cells from Obese Patients

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Supported in part by grants AM 09897 and FR-52, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to George A. Bray, M.D., Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, Calif. 90509

Boston, Massachusetts

Ann Intern Med. 1970;73(4):565-569. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-73-4-565
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The size of subcutaneous fat cells was measured with a microscope after separating the cells by digestion in collagenase. Obese patients had large cells averaging 0.78 nl in volume, whereas the average volume of fat cells from the control subjects was only 0.26 nl. In this latter group fat cell volume was positively correlated with body weight. Many obese subjects had an increased number of fat cells. With weight loss the size of individual fat cells decreased, but the total number of fat cells did not.





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