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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
ORIGINAL ARTICLES BODY COMPOSITION, NUTRITION
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 May;56(5):541-5
Comparison of skinfold thickness models with DEXA: impact of visceral adipose tissue
Jean C. PINEAU 1, Alain FREY 2 ✉
1 CNRS-UPR 2147, Dynamique de l’Evolution Humaine, Paris, France; 2 Medical Department, INSEP, Paris, France
BACKGROUND: This study was designed to evaluate the impact of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the umbilical level on the accuracy of body fat percentage (BF%) measurement using the skinfold thickness method (SFT) in athletes.
METHODS: Dual-energy X- ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was the reference standard method for BF% measurement. We studied 22 female elite judokas recruited at the French national sports institute (Institut National des Sports et de l’Education Physique, INSEP) via coaches and trainers. Single MRI slices at L4-L5 were used for manual measurements of VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT).
RESULTS: A Bland and Altman analysis showed a wide 95% confidence interval for the limits of agreement between DEXA and SFT [- 1.7; +7.1], with a systematic bias consisting in BF% underestimation by SFT compared to DEXA. The VAT/SAT ratio correlated significantly (r=0.53, P=0.012) with the BF% difference between DEXA and SFT. We used this result to correct the BF% value provided by SFT for VAT.
CONCLUSIONS: DXA provided higher %BF values than an SFT-based method. Consequently, the SFT method cannot be used interchangeably with DXA for assessing %BF. However, VAT cannot be measured accurately using anthropometry or DEXA, and MRI is therefore required to use our correction.