Bioelectrical impedance analysis in the assessment of sarcopenia

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Purpose of review

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is an accepted technique to estimate low muscle mass for sarcopenia diagnosis. However, muscularity assessment from BIA relies on prediction equations, estimating different compartments according to the calibration method. Low muscle mass can be defined using different approaches.

Recent findings

There is a lack of standardization on how low muscularity is defined in the context of sarcopenia. Recent studies have shown discrepant results for the estimation of low muscle mass when different prediction equations are used in the same BIA device. Different sarcopenia prevalence rates are observed if different definitions are used to identify low muscle mass. Most of the studies using BIA for diagnosing sarcopenia use the incorrect combination of specific population cut-off or a different device from the original equation.


The lack of standardization of BIA use for assessing muscularity results in a wide range of sarcopenia prevalence rates among studies, even when conducted in the same population. As BIA equations and cut-off values are population and device-specific, results should be interpreted with caution when data from different devices are applied in equations or using cut-off values from a different population.

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