Effect of influenza-induced fever on human bioimpedance values

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Background and Aims Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a widely used technique to assess body composition and nutritional status. While bioelectrical values are affected by diverse variables, there has been little research on validation of BIA in acute illness, especially to understand prognostic significance. Here we report the use of BIA in acute febrile states induced by influenza. Methods Bioimpedance studies were conducted during an H1N1 influenza A outbreak in Venezuelan Amerindian villages from the Amazonas. Measurements were performed on 52 subjects between 1 and 40 years of age, and 7 children were re-examined after starting Oseltamivir treatment. Bioelectrical Impedance Vector Analysis (BIVA) and permutation tests were applied. Results For the entire sample, febrile individuals showed a tendency toward greater reactance (p=0.058) and phase angle (p=0.037) than afebrile individuals, while resistance and impedance were similar in the two groups. Individuals with repeated measurements showed significant differences in bioimpedance values associated with fever, including increased reactance (p<0.001) and phase angle (p=0.007), and decreased resistance (p=0.007) and impedance (p<0.001). Conclusions There are bioelectrical variations induced by influenza that can be related to dehydration, with lower extracellular to intracellular water ratio in febrile individuals, or a direct thermal effect. Caution is recommended when interpreting bioimpedance results in febrile states.
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Marini, E., Buffa, R., Contreras, M., Magris, M., Hidalgo, G., Sanchez, W., Ortiz, V., Urbaez, M., Cabras, S., Blaser, M. J., & Dominguez-Bello, M. G. (2015). Effect of Influenza-Induced Fever on Human Bioimpedance Values. PLOS ONE, 10 (4), p. e0125301.