Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research

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Evaluation of five formulae for estimating body surface area of Nigerian children

AE Orimadegun, AO Omisanjo


Background: Physiological functions are often assessed by standardizing for body surface area (BSA) to avoid excessive variation in calculations in pediatric practice.
Aim: To explore the suitability of existing formulae for estimating the BSA of Nigerian children.
Subjects and Methods: This cross‑sectional study involved healthy children in a Local Government Area, Oyo State, Nigeria. The BSAs of 2745 children were calculated using the formulae by Boyd, Mosteller, Gehan and George, Haycock, and Dubois‑DuBois, and the sixth arithmetic mean of these five formulae (mean‑BSA) was performed. The outcome of interest was agreement between estimated BSA and mean‑BSA for each method. The performance of each BSA estimation method was compared using bias, root mean square error and Bland‑Altman plots of agreement.
Results: The study participants comprised of 1229 males and 1246 females with mean (standard deviation) ages of 6.3 (3.0) years and 6.6 (3.1) years respectively (P = 0.01). Reference values for BSA estimates by gender were proposed each age group. Furthermore, BSA estimates from Boyd’s and Mosteller’s formulae were most similar to the mean‑BSA with mathematically perfect correlations. The degree of deviation of BSA estimates from DuBois was largest with a remarkable increase at ages <6 years.
Conclusion: Formulae by Boyd and Mosteller are the best BSA estimate for Nigerian children among the existing formulae.

Keywords: Anthropometry, Formulae, Physiological functions, Plots of agreement
AJOL African Journals Online