Bioelectrical impedance analysis is more accurate than clinical examination in determining the volaemic status of elderly patients with fragility fracture and hyponatraemia

K Cumming, G. E. Hoyle, J. D. Hutchison, R. L. L. Soiza

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Objectives: Management of hyponatraemia depends crucially on accurate determination of volaemic (hydration) status but this is notoriously challenging to measure in older people. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) provides a validated means of determining total body water (TBW), but its clinical utility in determining volaemic status in hyponatraemia has never been tested. This study assessed the utility of BIA in the clinical management of hyponatraemia in elderly patients with fragility fractures (EPFF), a group at high risk of hyponatraemia.

Design: Prospective observational study of consenting patients ≥65 years with fragility fractures (N=127).

Setting: University teaching hospital in Scotland. Participants Patients ≥65 years with fragility fractures with capacity to consent to participation.

Measurements: BIA and standard clinical examination procedures (jugular venous distension, skin turgor, mouth and axillary moistness, peripheral oedema, capillary refill time, overall impression) were performed daily throughout each participant's hospital stay. Volaemic status of hyponatraemia was determined by an expert panel using clinical data (history, examination, nursing observations and laboratory tests) blinded to TBW readings. Cohen's kappa was calculated to assess the level of agreement between the expert panel and both BIA and standard clinical examination measures in determining the volaemic state of hyponatraemia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-750
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health & Aging
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014



  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • fracture
  • hydration
  • hyponatraemia
  • Sodium

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