Body Composition Assessment by Air-Displacement Plethysmography Compared to Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry in Full-Term and Preterm Aged Three to Five Years

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Abstract

It is important to monitor body composition longitudinally, especially in children with atypical body composition trajectories. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) can be used and reference values are available. Air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) is a relatively new technique, but reference values are lacking. In addition, estimates of fat-free mass density (Dffm), needed in ADP calculations, are based on children aged >8 years and may not be valid for younger children. We, therefore, aimed to investigate whether DXA and ADP results were comparable in young children aged 3–5 years, either born full-term or preterm, and if Dffm estimates in the ADP algorithm could be improved. In 154 healthy children born full-term and 67 born < 30 weeks of gestation, aged 3–5 years, body composition was measured using ADP (BODPOD, with default Lohman Dffm estimates) and DXA (Lunar Prodigy). We compared fat mass (FM), fat mass percentage (FM%) and fat-free mass (FFM), between ADP and DXA using Bland–Altman analyses, in both groups. Using a 3-compartment model as reference method, we revised the Dffm estimates for ADP. In full-term-born children, Bland–Altman analyses showed considerable fixed and proportional bias for FM, FM%, and FFM. After revising the Dffm estimates, agreement between ADP and DXA improved, with mean differences (LoA) for FM, FM%, and FFM of −0.67 kg (−2.38; 1.04), −3.54% (−13.44; 6.36), and 0.5 kg (−1.30; 2.30), respectively, but a small fixed and proportional bias remained. The differences between ADP and DXA were larger in preterm-born children, even after revising Dffm estimates. So, despite revised and improved sex and age-specific Dffm estimates, results of ADP and DXA remained not comparable and should not be used interchangeably in the longitudinal assessment of body composition in children aged 3–5 years, and especially not in very preterm-born children of that age.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1604
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding: The Sophia Pluto study is an investigator-initiated cohort study, for which AHK received an independent research grant (number 120417) by Danone Nutricia Research.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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