News items Determining fluid balance of patients by measuring electrical body resistance

16 November 2021

Reliable determination of fluid balance is essential in the treatment of patients with water imbalances. Unfortunately, current methods are not very accurate. Jantine Jansen-Schotman conducted research into alternatives. She obtained her doctorate on 16 November.

The dissertation studied whether bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) can be used to determine this more accurately. Conventional BIA relies on measuring total body electrical resistance and translating it into body water volumes, using computational models. This thesis has shown that the accuracy of the conventional BIA approach is insufficient when applied to patients, partly due to limitations of the computational models used.

Less complicated calculation methods

The method based solely on the measured total body resistance avoids the use of complicated computational models. The results indicate that this measurement technique is very sensitive for recording changes in fluid balance, provided that the measurements are performed according to a standardized measurement procotol.

New method for patients

This is the first step towards the development of a new method to determine people's fluid balance in an objective and reliable manner. The technique is aimed in particular at patients who are undergoing treatment in the hospital because of fluid abnormalities. This covers a wide range, from patients presenting with dehydration symptoms in the emergency department to patients with heart failure or chronic kidney damage who are being treated for fluid overload. In this way, fluid policy can be better managed. Jansen-Schotman: "Follow-up research is needed to determine the extent of the added clinical value. We are still looking for subsidies to further test the method described in this thesis in the clinic."

About the PhD research of Jantine Jansen-Schotman

Title of dissertation: Hydration assessment by measurement of total body electrical resistance: back to basics. Jantine Jansen-Schotman (technical physician) conducted her research at the Department of Internal Medicine of Rijnstate and Radboudumc, under the supervision of supervisor Jack Wetzels (Radboudumc) and co-supervisors from Rijnstate Hans de Boer (internist) and Marcel van Borren (clinical chemist). Jansen-Schotman is the first researcher under the joint PhD fund of Rijnstate and Radboudumc to obtain a PhD. She is currently a clinical data analyst at Rijnstate.


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