The advantages and limitations of cross-sectional body composition analysis

Alisdair J MacDonald, Carolyn A Greig, Vickie Baracos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review
Cross-sectional (C-S) imaging is now commonly used to measure body composition in clinical studies. This review highlights the advantages, limitations and suggested future directions for this technique.

Recent findings
Current understanding of C-S imaging reproducibility, tissue identification and segmentation methods, comparison between imaging techniques and estimates of whole body composition using a single image are described.

C-S imaging can reliably measure muscle and fat distribution and uniquely discriminate between intra-abdominal organ and muscle component of fat-free mass. It precisely tracks changes within an individual, but is less able to distinguish true differences in whole body estimates between individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-349
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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