Body Compartment Changes in Sick Children

  • Paul B. Pencharz
  • Nachum Vaisman
  • Maria Azcue
  • Virginia A. Stallings
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 55)


The body composition of children changes with growth and development (Pencharz, 1985). It is also affected by disease and the nutritional status of the child. Our group has been particularly interested in the changes due to disease and nutritional perturbations (Pencharz, 1988). A powerful motivation for this interest has come from our clinical responsibilities in practising nutritional medicine. Being able to assess the body composition of children is a key component of assessing and Monitoring their nutritional status. Traditionally, paediatricians have measured anthropometric variables like weight and height. By taking serial measurements it was possible to monitor not only the weight of the child but also to measure growth rates. These measurements, although useful, are not sufficient in themselves. It is necessary to be able to measure changes in the lean body mass of children in response to disease and treatment. Further, it is necessary to be able to monitor body cell mass (i.e. intracellular mass) as related to extracellular mass. The two components when summed make up lean body mass. Within body cell mass there are important constituents like protein, water, and the major intracellular cation potassium. The ratio of these Constituents do vary from tissue to tissue, but are relatively constant in a healthy individual of a given gender and age.


Cystic Fibrosis Body Composition Anorexia Nervosa Lean Body Mass Total Body Water 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Archibald, B.H., Harrison, J.E., and Pencharz, P.B., 1983, Effect of a weight reducting high protein diet on the body composition of obese adolescents, Am. J. Dis. Child, 137:658.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Archibald, E.H., Stallings, V., Pencharz, P.B., Harrison J.E., and Bell, L.E., 1988, One-year follow-up of weight, total body potassium and total body nitrogen in obese adolescents treated with the protein sparing modified fast, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 48:91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Brook, C.G.D., 1971, Determination of body composition of children from skinfold measurements. Arch. Dis. Child, 46:182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cochran, W.J., Wong, W.W., Fiorotto, M.L.. Sheng, H.P., Klein, P.D., and Klish, W.J., 1988, Total body water estimated by measuring total-body electrical conductivity, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 48:946.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Durnin, J.V.G.A., and Rahaina, M.M., 1967, The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from measurements of skinfold thickness, Br. J. Nutr., 21:681.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Flynn, M.A., Woodruff, C., Clark, J., and Chase G., 1972, Total body potassium in normal children, Pediatr. Res., 6:239.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harrison, J.E., Williams, C., Watts J., and McNeill, K.G., 1975, A bone calcium index base on partial body calcium measurements by in vivo neutron activation analysis, J. Nucl. Medu., 16:116.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Khaled, M.A., McCutcheon, M.J., Reddy, S., Pearman, P.L., Hunter, G.R., and Weinsier, R.L., 1988, Electrical impedance In assessing human body composition: the B1A method. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 47:789.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Levy, L.D., Durie, P.R., Pencharz, P.B., and Corey, M.L., 1985, Itie effects of long-term nutritional rehabilitation on body composition and clinical status in malnourished children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis, J. Pediatr., 107(2):225.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mernagh, J.R., Harrison, J.E., and McNeill, K.G., 1977, In vivo determination of nitrogen using Pu-Be sources, Phys. Med. Biol., 22:831.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Moore, D.J., Durie, P.R., Forstner, G.G., and Pencharz, P.B., 1985, The assessment of nutritional status in children, Nutr. Res., 5:797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pencharz, P.B., 1985, Body composition and growth, in: “Nutrition in Pediatrics. Baltic Science and Clinical Application”, A. Walker, cd. Little, Brown and Co., Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  13. Pencharz, P.B., 1988, Identifying the patient at nutritional risks. Can. Diet. Assn., 499:108.Google Scholar
  14. Pencharz, P.B., Hill, R., Archibald, E., Levy, L., and Newth, C., 1984, Energy needs and nutritional rehabilitation in undernourished adolescents and young adult patients with cystic fibrosis, J, Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr., 3(S1):S147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schoeller, D.A., van Santen, E., Peterson, D.U., Dietz, Jaspan, W., J., and Klein, P.D., 1980, Total body water measurement in humans with 180- and 2H-labeled water. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 33:2686.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Vaisman, N., Corey, M., Rossi, M.F., Goldberg, E., and Pencharz, P.B., 1988, Changes in body composition during refeeding of patients with anorexia nervosa, J. Pediatr., 113:925.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Vaisman, N., Pencliarz, P.B., Geary, D., and Harrison, J., 1988, Changes in body composition in children following kidney transplantation, Nephron, 50:282.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Vaisman, N., Pencliarz P.B., Koren G., and Johnson J.K., 1987, Comparison of oral and intravenous administration of sodium bromide for extracellular water measurements. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 46:1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul B. Pencharz
    • 1
  • Nachum Vaisman
    • 1
  • Maria Azcue
    • 1
  • Virginia A. Stallings
    • 1
  1. 1.The Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations