Segmental bioelectrical impedance analysis: An update

Ward, Leigh C. (2012) Segmental bioelectrical impedance analysis: An update. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 15 5: 424-429. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e328356b944

Author Ward, Leigh C.
Title Segmental bioelectrical impedance analysis: An update
Journal name Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1363-1950
Publication date 2012-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328356b944
Volume 15
Issue 5
Start page 424
End page 429
Total pages 6
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose of review: Bioelectrical impedance analysis is a popular, noninvasive and practical method for assessment of body
composition. The last decade has seen the development of impedance analyzers designed to assess the
composition of body segments as well as the whole body. This review outlines the theoretical basis for
segmental impedance analysis, validity and use in practice.
Recent findings: Segmental impedance analysis tends to underestimate fat-free mass and overestimate fat mass when
compared to reference techniques, although the magnitude of these differences can be small. Performance
is improved with population-specific prediction equations; algorithms in-built into instrument firmware should
not be relied upon. Prediction of whole-body composition from the sum of the individual segments, although
theoretically preferable, shows little advantage over whole body wrist to ankle impedance approaches.
Prediction of appendicular skeletal muscle mass, although promising, requires further research. The use of
measured impedance data directly as indices of composition, rather than for prediction, has not found
extensive application in nutritional research despite its success in other fields.
Summary: Segmental bioimpedance techniques have advanced substantially in recent years due to availability of
simple-to-use analyzers and simplified measurement protocols. The method has been well validated and
increasingly adopted in nutritional and clinical practice. Segmental impedance, like conventional whole
body impedance approaches, provides indirect prediction of body composition whose accuracy is yet to
achieve that of reference techniques such as magnetic reference imaging. This lack of accuracy, however,
is outweighed by the method’s practicality of use in many settings.
Keyword Body composition
Fat-free mass
Fluid distribution
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 23 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 20 Jul 2012, 10:21:35 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences