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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X


FERREIRA, D.M.  and  SOUZA, M.N.. Bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy for the assessment of body fluid volumes of term neonates. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2004, vol.37, n.11, pp.1595-1606. ISSN 1414-431X.

The assessment of fluid volume in neonates by a noninvasive, inexpensive, and fast method can contribute significantly to increase the quality of neonatal care. The objective of the present study was to calibrate an acquisition system and software to estimate the bioelectrical impedance parameters obtained by a method of bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy based on step response and to develop specific equations for the neonatal population to determine body fluid compartments. Bioelectric impedance measurements were performed by a laboratory homemade instrument. The volumes were estimated in a clinical study on 30 full-term neonates at four different times during the first month of life. During the first 24 hours of life the total body water, extracellular water and intracellular water were 2.09 ± 0.25, 1.20 ± 0.19, and 0.90 ± 0.25 liters, respectively. By the 48th hour they were 1.87 ± 0.27, 1.08 ± 0.17, and 0.79 ± 0.21 liters, respectively. On the 10th day they were 2.02 ± 0.25, 1.29 ± 0.21, and 0.72 ± 0.14 liters, respectively, and after 1 month they were 2.34 ± 0.27, 1.62 ± 0.20, and 0.72 ± 0.13 liters, respectively. The behavior of the estimated volume was correlated with neonatal body weight changes, leading to a better interpretation of such changes. In conclusion, this study indicates the feasibility of bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy as a method to help fluid administration in intensive care neonatal units, and also contribute to the development of new equations to estimate neonatal body fluid contents.

Keywords : Bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy; Body water; Extracellular water; Intracellular water; Neonatal handling.

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