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      Validity of Methods Used for the Assessment of Body Components in Children: Pros and Cons of Modern versus Old Technology

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          Abstract

          There is increasing interest in measuring muscle mass in paediatric research and clinical practice. The simplest approach is to measure lean mass and predict muscle mass as a proportion of it, but individuals and groups vary in this ratio. Calculation of arm muscle area from anthropometry has been shown to have poor accuracy in individuals; segmental impedance analysis, however, may perform better as a simple predictive method for limb composition, and merits further development. Biochemical techniques (e.g. urinary creatinine measurement) are cumbersome in children and their data are confounded by variability in maturation, diet and activity level. The best tools are radiographic imaging techniques that attempt direct measurement of muscle mass. The most widely available is dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, which is capable of detecting the direction of differences or changes, but is less reliable regarding their magnitude because of error that varies with gender, size and fatness. Magnetic resonance imaging is currently the best technique available, as computed tomography has too high a radiation dose to justify its use in younger age groups. Regardless of which technique is used, reference data are required to aid interpretation of results, and are a current research priority.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          HRE
          Horm Res Paediatr
          10.1159/issn.1663-2818
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          978-3-8055-8244-5
          978-3-318-01440-2
          1663-2818
          1663-2826
          2006
          January 2007
          25 January 2007
          : 66
          : Suppl 1
          : 58-64
          Affiliations
          Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Child Health, London, UK
          Article
          96624 Horm Res 2006;66:58–64
          10.1159/000096624
          © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 27, Pages: 7
          Categories
          Validity of Methods Used for the Assessment of Body Components in Children

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