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Measurement precision of body composition variables in elite wheelchair athletes using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
The purpose of this study was to assess the reproducibility of body composition measurements by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 12 elite male wheelchair basketball players (age 31 ± 7 years, BMI 21 ± 2 kg/m2 and onset of disability 25 ± 9 years). Two whole body scans were performed on each participant in the supine position on the same day, using Lunar Prodigy Advance DXA (GE Lunar, Madison, WI, USA). Participants dismounted from the scanning table and were repositioned in-between the first and second scan. Whole body coefficient of variation (CV) values for bone mineral content (BMC), fat mass (FM) and soft tissue lean mass (LTM) were all <2.0%. With the exclusion of arm FM (CV = 7.8%), CV values ranged from 0.1 to 3.7% for all total body and segmental measurements of BMC, FM and LTM. The least significant change that can be attributed to the effect of treatment intervention in an individual is 1.0 kg, 1.1 kg, 0.12 kg for FM, LTM, and BMC, respectively. This information can be used to determine meaningful changes in body composition when assessed using the same methods longitudinally. Whilst there may be challenges in the correct positioning of an individual with disability that can introduce greater measurement error, DXA is a highly reproducible technique in the estimation of total and regional body composition of elite wheelchair basketball athletes.
We would like to thank Dr Susan Shirreffs and Prof. Ron Maughan for their support, Dr Rachel Duckham for her technical expertise during data collection and the support from the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association. Appreciation is also extended to all sportsmen who volunteered to participate in this study and for the finanical contributions from the English Institute of Sport and the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences