Quantification of visceral adiposity: Evaluation of the body electrical loss analysis

Kim H. Blomqvist, Jussi Kuutti, Jesper Lundbom, Kirsi H. Pietilainen, Nina Lundbom, Raimo E. Sepponen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Body electrical loss analysis (BELA) is a measurement of the electrical losses caused by the human abdomen when placed into an alternating magnetic field. This study aimed at finding a prediction formula for visceral fat area (VFA) from BELA. Thirty-eight test subjects covering the body mass index of 19.6-39.4 kg m-2 and the waist circumference of 78-128 cm underwent BELA, single-frequency electrical abdominal impedance measurement (SAI), conventional bioelectrical impedance analysis and cross-sectional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The BELA was compared with the amount of visceral and subcutaneous fat calculated from MR images. The strongest correlation between BELA and VFA (r = 0.61, SEE = 59.30) was found at the height of umbilicus +5 cm, and it tended to decrease when the measurement height was lowered. The correlation to subcutaneus fat area (SFA) at the height of umbilicus +5 cm was r = 0.43 (lower is better), and it tended to increase when the measurement height was lowered. The correlation of BELA to VFA in the evaluation cohort is not strong enough to tolerate obtaining the prediction formula for VFA by regression among BELA and MRI. Also the large SEE value suggests a poor agreement with MRI. Thus the results suggest that in its current form BELA cannot be applied as a diagnostic device to measure visceral fat. Although SAI can help in identifying the abdominal SF layer thickness, it did not help when applied to BELA analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025034
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • electrical bioimpedance
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • Visceral obesity


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