Bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) with a whole-body model to distinguish excess fluid from major body tissue hydration can provide objective assessment of fluid status. BIS is integrated into the Body Composition Monitor (BCM) and is validated in adults, but not children. This study aimed to (1) assess agreement between BCM-measured total body water (TBW) and a gold standard technique in healthy children, (2) compare TBW_BCM with TBW from Urea Kinetic Modelling (UKM) in haemodialysis children and (3) investigate systematic deviation from zero in measured excess fluid in healthy children across paediatric age range.
TBW_BCM and excess fluid was determined from standard wrist-to-ankle BCM measurement. TBW_D2O was determined from deuterium concentration decline in serial urine samples over 5 days in healthy children. UKM was used to measure body water in children receiving haemodialysis. Agreement between methods was analysed using paired t test and Bland-Altman method comparison.
In 61 healthy children (6–14 years, 32 male), mean TBW_BCM and TBW_D2O were 21.1 ± 5.6 and 20.5 ± 5.8 L respectively. There was good agreement between TBW_BCM and TBW_D2O (R2 = 0.97). In six haemodialysis children (4–13 years, 4 male), 45 concomitant measurements over 8 months showed good TBW_BCM and TBW_UKM agreement (mean difference − 0.4 L, 2SD = ± 3.0 L). In 634 healthy children (2–17 years, 300 male), BCM-measured overhydration was − 0.1 ± 0.7 L (10–90th percentile − 0.8 to + 0.6 L). There was no correlation between age and OH (p = 0.28).
These results suggest BCM can be used in children as young as 2 years to measure normally hydrated weight and assess fluid status.