OBJECTIVEPostprandial plasma nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) appearance is increased in type 2 diabetes. Our objective was to determine whether skeletal muscle uptake of plasma NEFA is abnormal during the postprandial state in type 2 diabetes.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSThigh muscle blood flow and oxidative metabolism indexes and NEFA uptake were determined using positron emission tomography coupled with computed tomography (PET/CT) with [(11)C]acetate and 14(R,S)-[(18)F]fluoro-6-thia-heptadecanoic acid ((18)FTHA) in seven healthy control subjects (CON) and seven subjects with type 2 diabetes during continuous oral intake of a liquid meal to achieve steady postprandial NEFA levels with insulin infusion to maintain similar plasma glucose levels in both groups.RESULTSIn the postprandial state, plasma NEFA level was higher in type 2 diabetic subjects versus CON (P < 0.01), whereas plasma glucose was at the same level in both groups. Muscle NEFA fractional extraction and blood flow index levels were 56% (P < 0.05) and 24% (P = 0.27) lower in type 2 diabetes, respectively. However, muscle NEFA uptake was similar to that of CON (quadriceps femoris [QF] 1.47 ± 0.23 vs. 1.37 ± 0.24 nmol·g(-1)·min(-1), P = 0.77; biceps femoris [BF] 1.54 ± 0.26 vs. 1.46 ± 0.28 nmol·g(-1)·min(-1), P = 0.85). Muscle oxidative metabolism was similar in both groups. Muscle NEFA fractional extraction and blood flow index were strongly and positively correlated (r = 0.79, P < 0.005).CONCLUSIONSPostprandial muscle NEFA uptake is normal despite elevated systemic NEFA levels and acute normalization of plasma glucose in type 2 diabetes. Lower postprandial muscle blood flow with resulting reduction in muscle NEFA fractional extraction may explain this phenomenon.