Preterm infant body composition cannot be accurately determined by weight and length
A new study determines, using ADP as a validation method, whether any of the anthropometric indices used historically or currently accurately predict body composition in infants.
Body composition is a key metric for assessing nutrition in preterm infants. In many neonatal intensive care units body composition is estimated using anthropometric indices which mathematically combine body weight and length. However, the accuracy of these indices is unknown in preterm infants. In contrast, air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) has been shown to accurately measure neonatal fat mass, but it is not widely available.
The research consisted in a retrospective observational study, comparing ADP-determined percent body fat at 366 time points for 239 preterm infants (born <32 weeks), with simultaneous weight and length measurements.
This study demonstrates the "inherent inaccuracy in using anthropometric indices to predict body composition". The results suggest that, when needed, "accurate determination of body composition requires methods beyond the calculation of traditional anthropometric indices".
The article details are the following:
- Title: "Preterm infant body composition cannot be accurately determined by weight and length."
- Authors: Kiger JR, Taylor SN, Wagner CL, Finch C, Katikaneni L
- Published in:J Neonatal Perinatal Med. 2016 Sep 16;9(3):285-90
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