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This case study examined the influence of a surgical metal implant on the bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) readings of an athlete. Single‐frequency BIA using a tetrapolar electrode configuration was applied to both the right and left sides of a 23‐year‐old female jumper who had an 8 × 345 mm titanium alloy nail implanted in her left tibia. The metal implant reduced BIA resistance and reactance on the implanted side by 27 and 6 ohms, respectively. This reduction in impedance resulted in a 0.4 kg–1.9 kg increase in the estimate of fat‐free mass (FFM) depending on the prediction formula used. There was a concomitant decrease in the estimate of body fat percentage (%BF) with the underestimation ranging from 0.6% to 2.7% BF depending on the prediction formula. A metal implant of substantial size can alter the BIA reading. Technicians should apply BIA to the opposite side of the body when athletes present with a surgical implant in a limb.
Wagner, DR. Case study: Effect of surgical metal implant on single frequency bioelectrical impedance measures of an athlete. Physiol Rep. 2020; 8:e14464. https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14464