What is a BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) Test?

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What is a BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) Test?
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The BIA test provides the data needed to accurately analyze body composition which in turn allows for accurate monitoring of AIDS wasting. Through BIA testing, the relative composition of fat muscles and other compounds necessary for the body to function properly are determined. AIDS wasting is a process by which vital lean body mass is broken down to provide the body with energy. By comparing measurements over time, the BIA test monitors changes in your lean body mass (muscle and organ tissue) which often cannot accurately be determined by changes in weight.
By providing accurate information on your body's composition, the BIA test helps doctors objectively measure the effectiveness of current wasting treatments. Additionally, the test helps doctors evaluate the impact of optimal anti-HIV therapy on body composition.

How does BIA work?

The BIA test works by sending an extremely weak (and harmless) electric current through your body, about the same as a discharged AA battery. Your body's total weight consists of various "masses", like fat, muscles, bones, and water. Each of these conducts electricity in different ways. By measuring the electric resistance of some of these masses in your body, called "Bioelectrical Impedance", and estimating other masses, the test is able to accurately measure what percentage of your total body weight is made up from each.

The BIA test is painless, only takes a minute to perform, and can be administered repeatedly over time without adverse effects.


Last Revised: October 01, 2002

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