Bioelectrical impedance analysis for assessment of fluid status and body composition in neonates—the good, the bad and the unknown


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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:There is a critical need for improved technologies to monitor fluid balance and body composition in neonates, particularly those receiving intensive care. Bioelectrical impedance analysis meets many of the criteria required in this environment and appears to be effective for monitoring physiological trends.SUBJECT/METHODS:The literature regarding the use of bioelectrical impedance in neonates was reviewed.RESULTS:It was found that prediction equations for total body water, extracellular water and fat-free mass have been developed, but many require further testing and validation in larger cohorts. Alternative approaches based on Hanai mixture theory or vector analysis are in the early stages of investigation in neonates.CONCLUSIONS:Further research is required into electrode positioning, bioimpedance spectroscopy and Cole analysis in order to realise the full potential of this technology.

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