Predicting body cell mass with bioimpedance by using theoretical methods: a technological review

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997 May;82(5):1542-58. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1997.82.5.1542.


The body cell mass (BCM), defined as intracellular water (ICW), was estimated in 73 healthy men and women by total body potassium (TBK) and by bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS). In 14 other subjects, extracellular water (ECW) and total body water (TBW) were measured by bromide dilution and deuterium oxide dilution, respectively. For all subjects, impedance spectral data were fit to the Cole model, and ECW and ICW volumes were predicted by using model electrical resistance terms RE and Rt in an equation derived from Hanai mixture theory, respectively. The BIS ECW prediction bromide dilution was r = 0.91, standard error of the estimate (SEE) 0.90 liter. The BIS TBW prediction of deuterium space was r = 0.95, SEE 1.33 liters. The BIS ICW prediction of the dilution-determined ICW was r = 0.87, SEE 1.69 liters. The BIS ICW prediction of the TBK-determined ICW for the 73 subjects was r = 0.85, SEE = 2.22 liters. These results add further support to the validity of the Hanai theory, the equation used, and the conclusion that ECW and ICW volume can be predicted by an approach based solely on fundamental principles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Water
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indicator Dilution Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological*
  • Potassium


  • Potassium