Assessment of body composition in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis Academic Article uri icon

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  • RATIONALE: Cystic fibrosis (CF) leads to pathological changes in organs that express the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), including secretory cells of the digestive tract and the pancreas. Maintaining nutritional sufficiency is challenging for CF patients and therefore accurate monitoring is important for their clinical management. PURPOSE: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of skinfold measurements as an accurate method for determining body composition (fat mass (FM) and lean body mass (LBM)) of this population, using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) as a gold standard comparison and to determine the most accurate equation for this calculation in children with CF. METHODS: Fifty-five pediatric patients with CF participated in the study. FM and LBM calculated via four methods: Slaughter, Durnin, Durenberg (2-site and 4-site). The relationship between the methods and DEXA results were estimated by intraclass-correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland and Altman analyses. RESULTS: The Slaughter method was the most accurate (ICC of 0.92 for FM and 0.99 for LBM) and displayed the least bias over the range of FM and LBM in CF patients. In addition, the results of Bland Altman analyses comparing each skinfold method to DEXA, revealed that the results were evenly distributed along the range of values for the Slaughter calculation, whereas the other three methods under and over estimated % fat results at the upper and lower ends of the range respectively. CONCLUSION: We therefore conclude that the Slaughter method may be used for body composition assessment of pediatric CF patients. This provides clinical teams with a simple, accurate and non-invasive method that can be used to monitor nutritional status in pediatric patients with CF.


  • Wells, Greg
  • Heale, Liane
  • Schneiderman, Jane E
  • Wilkes, Donna L
  • Atenafu, Eshetu
  • Coates, Allan L
  • Ratjen, Felix

publication date

  • October 2008