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Measuring body composition in the preterm infant: Evidence base and practicalities

Measuring body composition in the preterm infant: Evidence base and practicalities
Measuring body composition in the preterm infant: Evidence base and practicalities

Preterm birth and body composition have demonstrable effects on growth and later health outcomes. Preterm infants reach term equivalent age with a lower proportion of lean mass and higher body fat percentage than their term equivalent counterparts. Weight and length do not give an accurate assessment of body composition. Tracking body composition rather than just weight is a fundamental part of improving nutritional outcomes. This is important given the ongoing controversies regarding the nutritional needs of preterm infants, as well as establishing suitable targets for their growth. In this review we describe current methodologies used in the measurement of body composition of the preterm infant and the review the recent published evidence for their accuracy and utility. Current measurement techniques employed include air displacement plethysmography, bioelectrical impedance analysis, isotope dilution techniques, MRI and a combination of manual measurements including skinfold thickness, body mass index and mid upper arm/mid-thigh circumference. These measures allow for the estimation of fat mass, fat-free mass and regional assessment of adiposity. Some methods, such as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and air displacement plethysmography do allow for comparison of change in body composition over time in cohorts of preterm infants that may be studied over a longer period of time and into adult life. However, none of the currently described methods give an accurate and practically achievable method of obtaining body composition measures in preterm infants in day to day routine clinical practise, although this remains a key priority when decisions are being made about how best to feed.

Body composition, Growth, Neonatal, Nutrition, Preterm
0261-5614
Andrews, Edward T.
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Beattie, R. Mark
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Johnson, Mark J.
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Andrews, Edward T.
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Beattie, R. Mark
9a66af0b-f81c-485c-b01d-519403f0038a
Johnson, Mark J.
64135487-45a1-46a6-a34b-595143e3c9a6

Andrews, Edward T., Beattie, R. Mark and Johnson, Mark J. (2019) Measuring body composition in the preterm infant: Evidence base and practicalities. Clinical Nutrition. (doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2018.12.033).

Record type: Review

Abstract

Preterm birth and body composition have demonstrable effects on growth and later health outcomes. Preterm infants reach term equivalent age with a lower proportion of lean mass and higher body fat percentage than their term equivalent counterparts. Weight and length do not give an accurate assessment of body composition. Tracking body composition rather than just weight is a fundamental part of improving nutritional outcomes. This is important given the ongoing controversies regarding the nutritional needs of preterm infants, as well as establishing suitable targets for their growth. In this review we describe current methodologies used in the measurement of body composition of the preterm infant and the review the recent published evidence for their accuracy and utility. Current measurement techniques employed include air displacement plethysmography, bioelectrical impedance analysis, isotope dilution techniques, MRI and a combination of manual measurements including skinfold thickness, body mass index and mid upper arm/mid-thigh circumference. These measures allow for the estimation of fat mass, fat-free mass and regional assessment of adiposity. Some methods, such as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and air displacement plethysmography do allow for comparison of change in body composition over time in cohorts of preterm infants that may be studied over a longer period of time and into adult life. However, none of the currently described methods give an accurate and practically achievable method of obtaining body composition measures in preterm infants in day to day routine clinical practise, although this remains a key priority when decisions are being made about how best to feed.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 December 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 January 2019
Keywords: Body composition, Growth, Neonatal, Nutrition, Preterm

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430139
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430139
ISSN: 0261-5614
PURE UUID: f91b0e88-948c-49e8-b726-5eb5e70a99c9

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 12 Apr 2019 16:30

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