MONICA MICLOŞ-BALICA*, P. MUNTEAN*, A. PETRAŞ*, A. DAOUD*, SANDRA POPA*, IRINA SIMA*, B. GLIŞICI*, O. CÎRJA*, F. SCHICK*, A. NEAGU*,**, OANA MUNTEANU*, V. PUPĂZAN*, MONICA NEAGU*#
*Center for Modeling Biological Systems and Data Analysis, ”Victor Babeș” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timișoara, România
**Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Missouri, Columbia, U.S.A.
Normal weight obesity (NWO) is a condition encountered in people whose body mass index (BMI) is in the normal range (18.5 – 24.99 kg/m2), but their body fat percentage (%BF) is higher than a certain limit established in large-scale population studies (23.1 % for men and 33.3 % for women). NWO is associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and increased risk of cardiovascular events. Therefore, it is desirable to detect NWO in a routine clinical investigation. Nevertheless, techniques of body composition assessment that are considered to be accurate require expensive apparatus and dedicated laboratories. Portable instruments are increasingly used for this purpose, but their accuracy needs to be established in various classes of subjects. Amplitude (A)-mode ultrasound (US) was found to be highly reliable, affordable and user-friendly, attracting much attention in recent years. This work evaluates the potential of A-mode US to detect NWO. Here, US is compared with air displacement plethysmography (ADP) – a reference method of body composition analysis. We found that US has a tendency to underestimate %BF, especially in subjects of high adiposity. Therefore, US proved ineffective in evaluating NWO defined in terms of fixed %BF cutoff values. When cutoff values were defined as relative quantities, such as the median of %BF within the ranges of BMI used in the classification of nutritional status, US was useful for sorting our sample into expanded NWO categories. Although its validity needs to be improved for certain categories of subjects, A-mode US is a promising technique for the study of NWO.
Key words: Body fat percentage, body mass index, BodyMetrix, BOD POD, air displacement plethysmography
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