The objective of the present study was to evaluate the performance of a new bioelectrical impedance instrument, the Soft Tissue Analyzer (STA), which predicts a subject's body composition. A cross-sectional population study in which the impedance of 205 healthy adult subjects was measured using the STA. Extracellular water (ECW) volume (as a percentage of total body water, TBW) and fat-free mass (FFM) were predicted by both the STA and a compartmental model, and compared according to correlation and limits of agreement analysis, with the equivalent data obtained by independent reference methods of measurement (TBW measured by D(2)O dilution, and FFM measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). There was a small (2.0 kg) but significant (P < 0.02) difference in mean FFM predicted by the STA, compared with the reference technique in the males, but not in the females (-0.4 kg) or in the combined group (0.8 kg). Both methods were highly correlated. Similarly, small but significant differences for predicted mean ECW volume were observed. The limits of agreement for FFM and ECW were -7.5-9.9 and -4.1-3.0 kg, respectively. Both FFM and ECW (as a percentage of TBW) are well predicted by the STA on a population basis, but the magnitude of the limits of agreement with reference methods may preclude its usefulness for predicting body composition in an individual. In addition, the theoretical basis of an impedance method that does not include a measure of conductor length requires further validation.


Journal article



Publication Date





745 - 750


Absorptiometry, Photon, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Body Composition, Body Height, Body Water, Body Weight, Deuterium, Electric Impedance, Evaluation Studies as Topic, Extracellular Space, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged