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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 238-244

Sonographic determination of normal subcutaneous fat thickness in children in Southern Nigeria


1 Department of Radiology, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Prof. E E Ekanem
Department of Paediatrics, University of Calabar, Calabar
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_246_18

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Background: Subcutaneous fat is a highly active metabolic tissue that exerts control on numerous biochemical and physiological processes in health and disease. Children are particularly susceptible to nutritional problems, hence the need to measure subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT) which can be used to determine their body composition. Ultrasonography provides an affordable, noninvasive, available technique of achieving this. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the normal values of SFT at the triceps, subscapular, and abdomen in children age 1–5 years using ultrasound in southern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study of 1750 healthy children age 1–5 years in nursery and primary schools in Calabar, Nigeria. Their body mass indexes were calculated from their weights and heights, while their triceps fat thickness (TFT), subscapular fat thickness (SuFT), and abdominal fat thickness (AFT) were measured using a 7.5-MHz linear array transducer of a Hitachi portable ultrasound machine. Results: The mean TFT value for girls was 4.6 ± 2.0 mm and 3.99 ± 1.8 mm for boys. Girls had mean SuFT value of 2.37 ± 1.41 mm and boys 2.14 ± 1.02 mm. The mean AFT value for girls was 5.53 ± 2.94 mm and for boys 4.53 ± 2.37 mm. The values at all sites were generally higher in females than in males. Conclusion: This work has provided a sonographic normogram of SFT at various sites for preschool children in Nigeria.


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