Bioelectrical impedance analysis of the body composition of children and adolescents with sickle cell disease

Dorothy J VanderJagt, Paul Harmatz, Ajovi B Scott-Emuakpor, Elliot Vichinsky, Robert H Glew
Journal of Pediatrics 2002, 140 (6): 681-7

OBJECTIVES: To examine the body composition of children and adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD) using bioelectrical impedance analysis and to determine if the impedance parameters resistance, reactance, and phase angle are able to distinguish between subjects with SCD and age- and gender matched controls.

STUDY DESIGN: Total body resistance and reactance were obtained for a total of 53 subjects with SCD (27 male and 26 female) between 10 and 18 years of age and 49 control subjects (23 male and 26 female). The fat-free mass, body cell mass, phase angle, and capacitance were also determined. Group comparisons were made using the 2-sample t test.

RESULTS: Male subjects with SCD had significantly lower fat-free mass (37.5 +/- 8.8 vs 43.9 +/- 12.3 kg, P =.04), body cell mass (17.4 +/- 4.3 vs 21.7 +/- 5.8 kg,P =.005), and body fat (3.7 +/- 2.6 vs 6.6 +/- 4.7 kg, P =.008) compared with controls. No significant differences in any body composition components were found for the female subjects. Both male and female subjects had significantly lower phase angle measurements (P <.001 and.006, respectively) than their respective controls, indicating possible alterations in cell membrane properties because of an imbalance in membrane composition or function.

CONCLUSIONS: Bioelectrical impedance analysis can be used to determine body composition differences in children with SCD. The phase angle may provide a useful method to monitor the efficacy of therapeutic interventions in patients with SCD.

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