Use of bioelectrical impedance analysis to assess body composition of seals

Rosemary Gales and Deane Renouf
Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, AIC 5S7
G. A. J. WORTHY
Marine Mammal Research Program, Texas A&M University, 4700 Avenue U, Building 303, Galveston, Texas 77551, USA
Marine Mammal Science, 10 (l):1 - 12. 1994
Abstract: Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) measures resistance and reactance of a current as it passes through an organism. The validity of using BIA as a tool to measure body water content, and hence body composition and condition, was tested on harp and ringed seals. The resistance and reactance readings from BIA were compared to estimates of total body water (TBW) determined via tritiated water dilution. The relationship between resistance and TBW (% of body mass) was linear after logarithmic transformation and the two variables were highly correlated. We describe the electrode configuration and placements, which provide reliable results in these seals. Our findings indicate that BIA has considerable potential as an inexpensive, rapid, and reliable technique for estimating body composition of phocid seals.

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