Body Composition Predicts Growth in Infants and Toddlers With Chronic Liver Disease

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This cross-sectional study was conducted on 15 infants and toddlers with chronic liver disease to validate arm anthropometry as an accurate measure of body composition (BC) compared to dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and to predict growth from BC. The z score means of the anthropometric indicators were <−2 standard deviation, except for body fat index and subscapular skinfold, which were between −2 and +2 standard deviation. Fat mass was predicted by arm adiposity indicators and fat-free mass by arm muscle area. Bone mineral content explained 87% of variation in length. Two multiple regression models predicted length: 1 with fat mass plus fat-free mass; and the second with fat mass and bone mineral content. These observations suggest that arm anthropometry is a useful tool to estimate BC and the nutritional status in infants and toddlers with chronic liver disease. Length and head circumference can be predicted by fat mass, fat-free mass, and bone mineral content.

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