PurposeWe hypothesize that MRI-based renal compartment volumes, particularly renal sinus fat as locally and potentially independently acting perivascular fat tissue, increase with glucose intolerance. We therefore analyze the distribution of renal volumes in individuals with normal glucose levels and prediabetic and diabetic individuals and investigate potential associations with other typical cardiometabolic biomarkers.Material and methodsThe sample comprised N = 366 participants who were either normoglycemic (N = 230), had prediabetes (N = 87) or diabetes (N = 49), as determined by Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. Other covariates were obtained by standardized measurements and interviews. Whole-body MR measurements were performed on a 3 Tesla scanner. For assessment of the kidneys, a coronal T1w dual-echo Dixon and a coronal T2w single shot fast spin echo sequence were employed. Stepwise semi-automated segmentation of the kidneys on the Dixon-sequences was based on thresholding and geometric assumptions generating volumes for the kidneys and sinus fat. Inter- and intra-reader variability were determined on a subset of 40 subjects. Associations between glycemic status and renal volumes were evaluated by linear regression models, adjusted for other potential confounding variables. Furthermore, the association of renal volumes with visceral adipose tissue was assessed by linear regression models and Pearson's correlation coefficient.ResultsRenal volume, renal sinus volume and renal sinus fat increased gradually from normoglycemic controls to individuals with prediabetes to individuals with diabetes (renal volume: 280.3 +/- 64.7 ml vs 303.7 +/- 67.4 ml vs 320.6 +/- 77.7ml, respectively, p < 0.001). After adjustment for age and sex, prediabetes and diabetes were significantly associated to increased renal volume, sinus volume (e.g. beta(Prediabetes) = 10.1, 95% CI: [6.5, 13.7]; p<0.01, beta(Diabetes) = 11.86, 95% CI: [7.2, 16.5]; p<0.01) and sinus fat (e.g. beta(Prediabetes) = 7.13, 95% CI: [4.5, 9.8]; p<0.001, beta(Diabetes) = 7.34, 95% CI: [4.0, 10.7]; p<0.001). Associations attenuated after adjustment for additional confounders were only significant for prediabetes and sinus volume (beta = 4.0 95% CI [0.4, 7.6]; p<0.05). Hypertension was significantly associated with increased sinus volume (beta = 3.7, 95% CI: [0.4, 7.0; p<0.05]) and absolute sinus fat volume (beta = 3.0, 95% CI: [0.7, 5.3]; p<0.05). GFR and all renal volumes were significantly associated as well as urine creatinine levels and renal sinus volume (beta = 1.6, 95% CI: [0.1, 2.9]; p<0.05).ConclusionRenal volume and particularly renal sinus fat volume already increases significantly in prediabetic subjects and is significantly associated with VAT. This shows, that renal sinus fat is a perivascular adipose tissue, which early undergoes changes in the development of metabolic disease. Our findings underpin that renal sinus fat is a link between metabolic disease and associated chronic kidney disease, making it a potential imaging biomarker when assessing perivascular adipose tissue.