Bioimpedance analysis: evaluation of leg-to-leg system based on pressure contact foot-pad electrodes


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Abstract

Conventional single frequency bioimpedance analysis (BIA) systems require technician placement of arm and leg gel electrodes, a suitable location for recumbent measurements, and a separate measurement of body weight. The aim of this study was to evaluate a new single frequency 50 kHz leg-to-leg bioimpedance analysis (BIA) system combined with a digital scale that employs stainless steel pressure-contact foot pad electrodes for standing impedance and body weight measurements. Healthy adults were evaluated for 1) electrode validity and 2) potential for body component estimation. Pressure-contact foot-pad electrode measured impedance was highly correlated with (N= 9, r = 0.99, P < 0.001) impedance measured using conventional gel electrodes applied to the plantar surface of both lower extremities; mean(±SD) impedance was systematically higher by about 15 ohms for pressure contact electrodes (526 ± 56 ohms vs 511 ± 59 ohms; P< 0.001). Second, the relationship between stature-adjusted leg-to-leg impedance (H2/Z) measured by the new system and two body composition components (total body water by 3H2O dilution (N = 144); and fat-free body mass, by underwater weighing and dual x-ray absorptiometry (N = 231)) was modeled using multiple regression analysis. Correlation coefficients for H2/Z alone versus body composition components were lower for leg-to-leg BIA than for arm-to-leg BIA: correlation coefficients and SEEs became similar for the leg-to-leg and arm-to-leg BIA systems with addition of three covariates (age, gender, and waist/hip circumference ratio) to regression models. The leg-to-leg pressure contact electrode BIA system has overall performance characteristics for impedance measurement and body composition analysis similar to conventional arm-to-leg gel electrode BIA and offers the advantage of increased speed and ease of measurement.

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