The measurement of skinfold thickness in newborn infants

McGowan, Angela Rosemary (1974) The measurement of skinfold thickness in newborn infants. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis concerns the Caliper Measurement of Skinfold Thickness in newborn infants. The technique has been used in adults for about eighty years and provides values which have been shown to be closely related to body fat as calculated from volumetric analysis, densitometry and roentgenogram measurements. Nomograms and regression equations allowing the direct calculation of total body fat from skinfold thiclmess measurements have subsequently been developed. Durnin in the University of Glasgow has extended the use of the technique to adolescents and Tanner has pioneered its use in children aged 1 month to 4 years. Its application however has been extremely limited in newborn infants. The reasons for this are probably two-fold; the first is the suspected unreliability of the technique, many potential sources of error existing, the second is lack of knowledge as to the exact clinical significance of the values. The work presented here seeks to improve this position and is described in three sections. Section I consists of an examination of the technique as applied to neonates. Section II examines the values in normal, premature and light-for-dates infants and Section III describes the gross chemistry of skinfold tissue in autopsied infants. CONCLUSIONS It is thus concluded from the evidence collected here] A. That measurement of skinfold thickness in the newborn by the technique described is reliable and that the "error" in fact reflects a change in tissue behaviour and probably its water content. B. That skinfold thickness values are closely related to the infant's birth weight and crown heel length, that they increase with gestation, and that female values are significantly greater than male values at term. C. That the percentage of water in skinfold tissue declines with increasing maturity whether denoted by birth weight, crown. heel length or gestational age; That female water values at term are significantly lower than male ones; and that no such trend or difference exists in percentage fat nor in lipid patterns as visualized in thin layer chromatographs. Of particular interest in these findings is the recurring link between skinfold thickness and tissue water - in explaining the error; in the opposite but matching trends with gestation; and in the opposite but matching sex differences at term. The possibility must be raised that skinfold thickness values reflect tissue water in an inverse way . In any case, this simple technique can be reliably used in newborn infants, is closely linked to other growth indices and may provide readily accessible information on the infants state of hydration. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: R A Shanks
Keywords: Medicine, Morphology
Date of Award: 1974
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1974-73378
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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