A growing body of evidence suggests that intrapancreatic fat is associated with diabetes, but whether distribution of intrapancreatic fat across the regions of the pancreas has a pathophysiologic role is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in intrapancreatic fat deposition between the head, body, and tail of the pancreas, as well as the relationship between regional intrapancreatic fat deposition and diabetes status and insulin traits. A total of 368 adults from the general population underwent MRI on a 3 Tesla scanner, and intrapancreatic fat was manually quantified in duplicate. Statistical models included adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, BMI, and liver fat. Intrapancreatic fat deposition in the head, body, and tail of the pancreas did not differ significantly in adjusted models in either the overall cohort or the three subgroups based on diabetes status. HOMA of insulin resistance and fasting insulin were significantly positively associated with fat in the tail and body of the pancreas. There was no significant association between regional intrapancreatic fat and HOMA of β-cell function. The association of increased intrapancreatic fat deposition in the tail and body regions with increased insulin resistance may have an important role in the early identification of patients at risk for developing insulin resistance and diseases that stem from it.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.19233069.

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