Bioelectrical impedance analysis in patients undergoing major head and neck surgery: A prospective observational pilot study

Sharon Tzelnick*, Pierre Singer, Yoni Shopen, Limor Moshkovitz, Shlomo Fireman, Thomas Shpitzer, Aviram Mizrachi, Gideon Bachar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Head and neck patients are prone to malnutrition. Perioperative fluids administration in this patient group may influence nutritional status. We aimed to investigate perioperative changes in patients undergoing major head and neck surgery and to examine the impact of perioperative fluid administration on body composition and metabolic changes using bioelectrical impedance. Furthermore, we sought to correlate these metabolic changes with postoperative complication rate. In this prospective observational pilot study, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) was performed preoperatively and on postoperative days (POD) 2 and 10 on patients who underwent major head and neck surgeries. BIA was completed in 34/37 patients; mean total intraoperative and post-anesthesia fluid administration was 3682 ± 1910 mL and 1802 ± 1466 mL, respectively. Total perioperative fluid administration was associated with postoperative high extra-cellular water percentages (p = 0.038) and a low phase-angle score (p < 0.005), which indicates low nutritional status. Patients with phase angle below the 5th percentile at POD 2 had higher local complication rates (p = 0.035) and longer hospital length of stay (LOS) (p = 0.029). Multivariate analysis failed to demonstrate that high-volume fluid administration and phase angle are independent factors for postoperative complications. High-volume perioperative fluids administration impacts postoperative nutritional status with fluid shift toward the extra-cellular space and is associated with factors that increase the risk of postoperative complications and longer LOS. An adjusted, low-volume perioperative fluid regimen should be considered in patients with comorbidities in order to minimize postoperative morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number539
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Perioperative complications


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