Body Composition Technology: Implications for the ICU

Manpreet S. Mundi, Jayshil J. Patel, Robert Martindale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Malnutrition continues to be highly prevalent in hospitalized and critically ill patients and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Additionally, survivors of critical illness have an increased risk for sarcopenia, which leads to weakness and physical debilitation that can persist for years. Nutrition risk assessment tools have been developed and validated in critically ill patients but have limitations. Variables such as body weight, body mass index, weight change, or percentage of food intake can be difficult to obtain in critically ill patients and may be misleading given changes in body composition, such as an increase in body water. Assessment of body composition through new techniques provides a unique opportunity to counter some of these limitations and develop improved methods of nutrition risk assessment based on objective data. The present manuscript provides a review of the most commonly available clinical technology for assessment of body composition (bioimpedance, computed tomography, and ultrasound), including data from trials in critically ill patients highlighting the benefits and weaknesses of each modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-58
Number of pages11
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Bioimpedance
  • body composition
  • computed tomography
  • critical illness
  • dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry
  • electrical impedance
  • nutrition assessment
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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