Changes in Bioimpedance analysis after stable refeeding of undernourished anorexic patients

L. Scalfi, Maurizio Marra, A. Caldara, E. Silvestri, F. Contaldo

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate bioimpedance analysis (BIA) parameters in patients with anorexia nervosa when undernourished and then after stable refeeding. DESIGN: Follow-up study. SUBJECTS: Thirteen patients with anorexia nervosa who were studied when undernourished (body weight (Wt): 36.9 ± 5.6 kg, body mass index (BMI): 14.8 ± 1.8 kg/m2) and after stable refeeding (Wt: 52.9 ± 7.1 kg, BMI: 21.2 ± 2.3 kg/m2) compared to 25 well-nourished control women (Wt: 53.7 ± 4.9 kg, BMI: 21.1 ± 1.3 kg/m2). MEASUREMENTS: Impedance and phase angle were determined for the whole body (13 patients) and separately for arms and legs (10 patients). RESULTS: Bioimpedance index (height2/impedance) and phase angle were lower in the undernourished group. Whole body impedance declined (median, min-max) by 45, 1-151 Ohm after refeeding; the variations of bioimpedance index (BI-Index) were weakly correlated (P <0.10) with BMI changes. Limb phase angles increased with refeeding, but only changes in whole-body phase angle were correlated (P <0.025) with the corresponding variations of Wt or BMI. CONCLUSION: Whole-body phase angle increased after weight recovery of anorexic patients, suggesting the occurence of modifications in the extracellular-to-intracellular water ratio. These changes were proportional to the increase in BMI and Wt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • Body composition
  • Protein energy malnutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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