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Exp Gerontol. 2013 Feb;48(2):255-8. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2012.10.002. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

The measurement of axillary moisture for the assessment of dehydration among older patients: a pilot study.

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1
Department of Medicine, Mito Kyodo General Hospital, University of Tsukuba, Mito City, Ibaraki, Japan.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Dry axilla can sometimes be found among dehydrated older patients. In this study, we measured the axillary moisture and assessed it as possible marker for dehydration.

METHODS:

Twenty-nine older patients admitted with acute medical conditions participated in this study. Dehydration was diagnosed by the calculated serum osmolality of greater than 295 mOsm/L. The moisture of axilla was measured by a skin moisture impedance meter which was applied at the center of axilla of patients.

RESULTS:

11 patients (7 males and 4 females) were diagnosed as dehydrated and 18 patients (10 males and 8 females) were diagnosed as non-dehydrated. The mean axillary moisture (33%) in the dehydrated group was significantly lower than that (42%) in the non-dehydrated group (p<0.05). The axillary moisture ≥50% showed the sensitivity of 88%. The axillary moisture <30% showed the specificity of 91%. Use of a single cutoff value of 40% moisture produced the sensitivity of 59% and the specificity of 9%. As for the physical signs, dry axilla had also moderate sensitivity and excellent specificity to detect dehydration.

CONCLUSIONS:

The measurement of the axillary moisture could help assess dehydration. Dehydration could be ruled out when the axillary moisture ≥50%, while it could be ruled-in when the axillary moisture is <30%.

PMID:
23063989
DOI:
10.1016/j.exger.2012.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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