A new air displacement plethysmograph for the measurement of body composition in infants

Pediatr Res. 2003 Mar;53(3):486-92. doi: 10.1203/01.PDR.0000049669.74793.E3.


ABSTRACT This article introduces and evaluates the PEA POD Infant Body Composition System, an air displacement plethysmograph designed for the assessment of body composition in infants between birth and 6 mo of age. The performance of the PEA POD was evaluated by repeated testing of National Institute of Standards and Technology-traceable weights and volumes. Mass was measured in a single session. Volume was measured in four sessions during a 2-d period (five times/session for both). The mean values for repeated mass measurements were almost identical to the masses of traceable weights. The SD and CV for repeated volume measurements were 1.1-4.5 mL and 0.02-0.09%, respectively. Both the mean SD and CV were within very narrow ranges (1.4-3.1 mL for SD and 0.03-0.08% for CV) across all volume levels. Furthermore, mean CV values using results from the four sessions indicated excellent within- and between-day reliability. Regression analyses (by session or with all sessions combined) of the measured volume against actual volume gave very low standard error of the estimate (SEE) (0.853-1.957 mL) and very high R(2) (1.000), with the intercept and slope not significantly different from 0 and 1, respectively. The mean percentage error in volume measurements was < or =0.05% at all volume levels. The study findings and the operational and physical characteristics of the system indicate that the PEA POD has the potential to provide clinicians and researchers with a diagnostic and research tool that is accurate, easily used by operators, and comfortable for subjects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Air
  • Body Composition*
  • Diaphragm / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Lung / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Plethysmography, Whole Body / instrumentation*
  • Plethysmography, Whole Body / methods*