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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

On-line version ISSN 2174-5145Print version ISSN 2173-1292


MURESAN, Bianca Tabita et al. Cross-sectional study of body composition measurement in cancer patients using anthropometry and medical imaging techniques. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2019, vol.23, n.3, pp.162-174.  Epub Oct 13, 2020. ISSN 2174-5145.


The main purpose of this study was to diagnose body composition in cancer patients before starting radiotherapy treatment, by using classic techniques based on anthropometry and biochemical parameters, as well as including new techniques based on computed tomography (TC) images.

Material and Methods

A sample of 22 patients with cancers that affect the digestive system underwent radiotherapy computed simulation which included measurements at L3 regions. Body composition was determined by using classic anthropometry, biochemical parameters and skeletal muscle mass by using Hounsfield Units (HU).


Mean BMI was 65,19 (±12,72) kg, mean BMI 23,74 (±5,03) kg/m2, mean average of WL 15,84 (±10,87) %, mean triceps skinfolds 9,73 (±5,08) mm and mean brachial muscle perimeter 22,81 (±2,95) cm. In terms of lab analysis, hipoalbumin was present in 63.45% of patients. On the other hand, according to body composition measured by CT scan, patients presented a mean waist circumference 99,06 (±13,38) cm, mean MM 119,41 (±35,54) cm2, and mean SMI 71,50 (±20.57) cm2/m2; being under normal cut points in 13,64% of patients.


New techniques based on CT scans could be daily incorporated into clinical practice in cancer patients as an additional information of classic anthropometry and biochemical parameters, being a simple technique to perform, with low cost, reproducible and very reliable in terms of determination of body composition.

Keywords : Tomography; Radiotherapy; Body Composition; Malnutrition.

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