Azcue MP, Zello GA, Levy LD, Pencharz PB. Energy expenditure and body composition in children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. J Pediatr 129, 870-876
To determine the relationship between resting energy expenditure and body cell mass in a group of children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy (SQCP) in comparison with a group of healthy volunteers. Children with SQCP (n = 13) and healthy control subjects (n = 21) participated in the study. Resting energy expenditure (REE) by indirect calorimetry, as well as body composition measurements were obtained. Those included skinfold measurements, isotope dilution methods for total body water and extracellular water (2H2O or H2(18)O and NaBr, respectively), and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Intracellular water was calculated as total body water minus extracellular water. Overall REE in children with SQCP was significantly less than in control subjects or from predicted World Health Organization equations. There was a poor correlation between REE and weight or height for children with SQCP and those for control subjects. Children with SQCP showed a higher variance and small improvement in the correlation between REE and lean body mass or intracellular water in comparison with control subjects. Nine of the thirteen children with SQCP had significantly reduced REE per unit of lean tissue or intracellular water. Furthermore, bioelectrical impedance analysis was validated against dilution methods as a suitable technique for measuring total body water (r2 = 0.90, r = 0.95) and extracellular water (r2 = 0.84, r = 0.92) in children with SQCP. REE in children with SQCP is poorly correlated with body cell mass. We postulate that the central nervous system plays a crucial role in energy regulation. In children with SQCP, individual energy expenditure should be measured so that optimal nutritional status can be achieved. Bioelectrical impedance analysis can be used in this population to measure body water spaces.