Single- and multifrequency models for bioelectrical impedance analysis of body water compartments

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Sep;87(3):1087-96. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1999.87.3.1087.


The 1994 National Institutes of Health Technology Conference on bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) did not support the use of BIA under conditions that alter the normal relationship between the extracellular (ECW) and intracellular water (ICW) compartments. To extend applications of BIA to these populations, we investigated the accuracy and precision of seven previously published BIA models for the measurement of change in body water compartmentalization among individuals infused with lactated Ringer solution or administered a diuretic agent. Results were compared with dilution by using deuterium oxide and bromide combined with short-term changes of body weight. BIA, with use of proximal, tetrapolar electrodes, was measured from 5 to 500 kHz, including 50 kHz. Single-frequency, 50-kHz models did not accurately predict change in total body water, but the 50-kHz parallel model did accurately measure changes in ICW. The only model that accurately predicted change in ECW, ICW, and total body water was the 0/infinity-kHz parallel (Cole-Cole) multifrequency model. Use of the Hanai correction for mixing was less accurate. We conclude that the multifrequency Cole-Cole model is superior under conditions in which body water compartmentalization is altered from the normal state.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Body Fluid Compartments / drug effects
  • Body Fluid Compartments / physiology*
  • Body Water / physiology*
  • Diuretics / pharmacology
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Extracellular Space / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological


  • Diuretics