, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 213-225

The assessment of body composition in patients with cirrhosis

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Abstract

Very little information is available on body composition in patients with cirrhosis. Difficulties arise in studying these patients because they tend to retain fluid and this results in changes in tissue density and in the hydration fraction of fat-free mass. As the classic body composition techniques rely on the assumption that these variables remain constant, use of these methods will result in either under- or overestimates of body composition variables. Use of multi-component models, employing two or more measurement techniques, will obviate the need for some of the assumptions inherent in the use of single techniques, thereby increasing the accuracy of the assessments, without loss of precision.