Multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis to assess human body composition

Sufia Islam, Iqbal Kabir, Mohammad A. Wahed, Michael I. Goran, Dilip Mahalanabis, George J. Fuchs, Mohammed A. Khaled

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MF-BIA) was validated as a method to predict total body water (TBW), extracellular water (ECW), fat free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) with other laboratory based methods. Twenty-two healthy adult male volunteers were selected from the staffs of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). Ten mL of deuterium oxide (D2O) along with 1 mL/Kg of 3 g% NaBr solution were given orally to each subject. In order to validate the method, deuterium- and bromide-dilution principles were utilized by using isotope- ratio mass spectrophotometer (IRMS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and spectrophotometer (SP). Data obtained by these methods were compared to assess the accuracy between the methods. The mean±SD BMI was 24.2±1.7 which indicates that the volunteers were not obese or overweight anthropometrically. A significant correlation of TBW was observed between MF- BIA and IRMS techniques (r2 = 0.44, p<0.001). However, the ECW volume was 7% higher by MF-BIA and 2% by HPLC in relation to the D2O dilution method whereas SP method gave the most accurate volume of ECW. The findings of the study indicate that MF-BIA method overestimated ECW although TBW by MF-BIA and IRMS correlated well. The co-efficient of variation (CV%) of ECW measured by HPLC was 9% and by SP method was 27%, indicating that ECW measured by HPLC was more accurate. In summary it could be concluded that MF-BIA is a rapid and useful technique to assess the body composition and its usefulness could be increased if ECW measurement by this method is improved further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1188
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB). The ICDDRB is supported by countries and agencies which share its concern for the health problems of developing countries. Current donors include: the aid agencies of the Governments of Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States; international organizations including Arab Gulf Fund, European Union, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Health Organization (WHO); private foundations including Aga Khan Foundation, Child Health Foundation (CHF), Ford Foundation, Population Council, Rockefellar Foundation, Thrasher Research Foundation and the George Mason Foundation; and private organizations including East West Center, Helen Keller International, Intematioinal Atomic Energy Agency, International Centre for Research on Women, International Development Research Centre, International Life Sciences Institute, Karolinska Institute, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Lederle Praxis, National Institute of Health (NM), New England Medical Centre, Procter & Gamble, RAND Corporation, Social Development Center of Philippines, Swiss Red Cross, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Iowa, University of Goteborg, UCB Osmotics Ltd., Wander A.G. and others. We thank Drs Dilara Islam and Rubhana Raquib for their helpful advice in statistical analysis Mr. M.A.R. Patwary and Mrs. Shireen Ali for their secretarial assistance.


  • Extracellular water
  • Frequency
  • Impedance
  • Intracellular water
  • Total body water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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