Validation of a new dielectric device to assess changes of tissue water in skin and subcutaneous fat.

Abstract:

:Easily applicable and inexpensive water-specific techniques to evaluate local oedema, swollen tissue problems and fluid retention in humans are not available. In the present investigation a recently constructed non-invasive device for a local measurement of changes in tissue water in human skin and subcutaneous fat (SSF) was validated. The instrument transmits an ultra high-frequency electromagnetic (EM) wave of 300 MHz into a coaxial line and further into an open-ended coaxial probe which is in contact with the skin. Due to the dimensions of the applied probe the penetration of the EM field extends to subcutaneous fat. A major part of the EM energy is absorbed by tissue water while the rest is reflected back into a coaxial line. From the information of the reflected wave an electrical parameter, directly proportional to tissue water content, called a dielectric constant of SSF, was calculated. For system validation, the decrease of water content in SSF measured with the dielectric technique in the volar forearm of seven patients during haemodialysis treatment was compared with the decrease of the circumference of the forearm and the amount of fluid removed. Statistically highly significant correlations were obtained between the decreasing dielectric constant (i.e. water content) of the SSF and the fluid removed during haemodialysis treatment (r = -0.99, p < 0.01) and between the decreasing dielectric constant and the circumference of the arm (r = 0.97, p < 0.05). The sensitivity of the dielectric method was four-fold compared with the circumferential measurement. The repeatability 3.0% was not dependent on the phase of haemodialysis. The new device allows an easy and non-invasive measurement technique to assess changes of tissue water in SSF.

journal_name

Physiol Meas

authors

Nuutinen J,Ikäheimo R,Lahtinen T

doi

10.1088/0967-3334/25/2/004

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2004-04-01 00:00:00

pages

447-54

issue

2

eissn

0967-3334

issn

1361-6579

journal_volume

25

pub_type

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