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Archivos argentinos de pediatría

Print version ISSN 0325-0075On-line version ISSN 1668-3501


CAMINITI, Carolina et al. Body composition and energy expenditure in a population of children and adolescents with myelomeningocele. Arch. argent. pediatr. [online]. 2018, vol.116, n.1, pp.e8-e13. ISSN 0325-0075.

Introduction. Myelomeningocele is a congenital defect that occurs when the neural tube fails to close completely. It causes body composition alterations and a high prevalence of obesity. It is difficult to detect the most adequate indicator for a nutritional diagnosis due to the impossibility of recording accurate anthropometric measurements. Objective. To describe body composition, resting energy expenditure and metabolic disorders in a population of patients with myelomeningocele managed at "Hospital Garrahan" by comparing obese patients with myelomeningocele and a control population with multifactorial obesity. Population and methods. An anthropometry, an impedance analysis, skinfold equations, arm circumference equations, indirect calorimetry, and biochemical determinations were done to all patients with myelomeningocele between June 2013 and April 2014, once the informed consent had been signed. Results. 131 patients aged 0.7-18.6 years were assessed; they were classified according to their body mass index Z-score into low weight (15%), normal weight (42%), overweight (12%), and obese (31%). A high correlation (r: 20.74) was observed between the fat mass % measured by impedance analysis versus that estimated using skinfolds. Patients with a high fat mass % had a higher body mass index Z-score than those with a normal fat mass % (1.07 versus -0.27, p: 0.0001) although both values were within normal parameters. A lower resting energy expenditure was observed among obese patients with myelomeningocele than predicted and in comparison with multifactorial obese controls. Conclusions. A high percentage of overweight/obesity was found in the population with myelomeningocele. Skinfold equations would be more adequate to detect obesity. Obese patients with myelomeningocele had a lower resting energy expenditure than predicted and in comparison with controls. Energy indication should be customized.

Keywords : Myelomeningocele; Obesity; Energy expenditure; Body composition.

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