Body composition assessment in spinal cord injury subjects

M. Maggioni, S. Bertoli, V. Margonato, G. Merati, A. Veicsteinas, G. Testolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Total and segmental body composition (fat mass, FM; fat-free mass, FFM; bone mineral density, BMD) were evaluated in 13 sedentary spinal cord injury (SCI) subjects and in 13 able-bodied healthy males (control, C) using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and skinfold methods. In the SCI group, total FM was significantly higher (31.1±8.2 vs. 20.8±6.9%) and total FFM was significantly lower (62.2±8.9 vs. 73.5±6.4%) than in C subjects. Total BMD did not differ between the SCI and C groups (1.20±0.11 vs. 1.30±0.11 g/cm2). In the SCI group, segmental FM was higher in the legs and trunk, whereas BMD was lower in legs only. The skinfold method significantly underestimated FM in the SCI group. Body composition is severely modified in paralyzed segments. The predictive equations developed for healthy populations appear to be inapplicable to SCI subjects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Diabetologica
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Body composition
  • Bone mineral density
  • Fat free mass
  • Fat mass
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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