The Validity of Body Composition Assessment in Clinical Populations

Publication Date: June 19, 2019


Based on the correlation coefcients across studies and using different devices, DXA appears to be a reasonably valid method to assess regional and total fat mass in a wide group of adult clinical patients. We recommend the use of DXA for assessing fat mass in patients with clinical conditions. No studies explored the validity of DXA for LM assessment in any clinical population. Thus, its use for this compartment remains unknown. (S - Strong, L - Low)

No recommendation can be made at this time to support the use of US in a clinical setting for assessing body composition. There are no data to support its validity in specic patient populations. (W - Weak, VL - Very Low)

No recommendations can be made regarding the validity of using BIA in clinical populations. Due to the proprietary nature of manufacturer-specic BIA regression models to procure body composition data, it is not possible to compare studies using different BIA devices. Furthermore, because of the variability of body compartments estimated within studies, it was not possible to conate these data by manufacturer to support summary correlations and forest plots. (W - Weak, L - Low)

Recommendation Grading




The Validity of Body Composition Assessment in Clinical Populations

Authoring Organization

Publication Month/Year

June 19, 2019

Supplemental Implementation Tools

Document Type


External Publication Status


Country of Publication


Target Patient Population

Adults with a potentially inflammatory condition

Inclusion Criteria

Female, Male, Adult, Older adult

Health Care Settings

Ambulatory, Hospital, Outpatient

Intended Users

Dietician nutritionist, clinical researcher, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant


Assessment and screening, Diagnosis, Management

Diseases/Conditions (MeSH)

D018529 - Nutritional Support, D001823 - Body Composition


ultrasound, body composition, nutrition assessment, bioelectrical impedance analysis