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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1995 Jul;6(1):75-81.

Nutritional assessment with bioelectrical impedance analysis in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Protein energy malnutrition is common among persons with ESRD and contributes substantially to morbidity and mortality. The usual methods of nutritional assessment, such as anthropometry, can be misleading because of altered tissue hydration. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) has been recommended by some as a practical nutritional assessment tool but has not been validated in patients with ESRD. Thirty-three stable patients on maintenance hemodialysis were evaluated in an ambulatory clinical research center with simultaneous BIA, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and deuterium oxide (D2O) and sodium bromide (NaBr) isotope dilution studies. Standard determinations of total body water (TBW) and body cell mass (BCM) were obtained and compared with values estimated by BIA. Two separate outpatient BIA measurements were also obtained approximately 2 wk before and after the clinical research center evaluation. BCM estimated by BIA was directly correlated (r = 0.92, P < 0.0001) with BCM determined by DEXA and NaBr. TBW estimated by BIA was directly correlated (r = 0.96, P < 0.0001) with TBW determined by deuterium oxide dilution. The reactance to resistance ratio (Xc/R) derived from BIA was inversely correlated (r = -0.73, P < 0.0001) with the extracellular water/TBW ratio determined by NaBr/D2O. Bland-Altman analyses showed that for TBW, BIA was in excellent agreement with D2O dilution. BCM was modestly underestimated by BIA compared with the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry/NaBr standard and was adjusted by linear regression. The coefficients of variation on repeated BIA measurements were below 4%, demonstrating test-retest reliability. BIA is a valid and reliable method of nutritional assessment in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

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