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Bioelectrical impedance analysis as a means of estimating total body water in grey seals



Bioelectrical impedance analysis as a means of estimating total body water in grey seals



Canadian Journal of Zoology 77(3): 418-422, March



Estimates of total body water (TBW) play an important role in studies of body composition and energetics in mammals. We evaluated bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) as a means of rapidly and inexpensively estimating TBW in 38 grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). Twenty-two males and 16 females, representing the range of body sizes in the population, were studied at Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Seals were chemically immobilized with Telazol during BIA measurement. TBW was determined by dilution of tritiated water. The mean difference in duplicate BIA measurements did not differ significantly from zero. BIA-measured resistance accounted for 83% of the variation in TBW over a range of body masses from 38.5 to 294 kg. Bioelectrical conductor volume (length2/resistance) accounted for 97% of the variation in TBW. Average error in predicting TBW was +0.10% for a validation set of nine animals, but errors in predicting TBW of individual seals were up to 25%. Our results indicate that BIA measurements can be a valuable adjunct to the use of isotope dilution for estimating TBW in chemically immobilized grey seals; however, individual estimates may be associated with varying degrees of error.

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Accession: 010241998

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1139/z98-223



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