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Br J Radiol. 1992 Oct;65(778):895-900.

Impact of hydration status on body composition as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in normal volunteers and patients on haemodialysis.

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Policlinic of Medicine, University Hospital, Berne, Switzerland.


To evaluate the influence of hydration status on the estimation of body composition using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), six normal volunteers and seven patients on maintenance haemodialysis were investigated using two different DXA machines (Lunar DPX, Hologic QDR 1000/W). Normal volunteers were studied (Hologic QDR 1000/W) before and 1 h after ingestion of breakfast, lunch and dinner (drinking various amounts of liquids at each meal, 0.5-2.4 kg). Whereas bone mineral content and body fat mass did not change, lean body mass of the trunk increased as a consequence of the meals. Conversely in patients on haemodialysis (Lunar DPX), lean body mass decreased in all segments of the body as a consequence of removal of 0.9-4.4 kg of salt-containing fluid by haemodialysis (trunk 61%, legs 30%, arms 5.5% and rest of the body 3.5%), whereas bone mineral content and body fat mass remained unchanged. However, this finding(s) did not hold true in one particular patient with bilateral hip prostheses. Measurement of body composition in eight normal volunteers on the same day with both machines showed similar results for lean and fat mass, whereas bone mineral content was found to be 17% higher using the Lunar DPX. In summary, in centres where both machines are available, follow-up of one individual patient should always be performed using the same equipment. In addition, hydration status and food intake must be taken into account when repetitive measurements of lean body mass are performed in the same patient.

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